Every year at the NHL Draft, there are family connections to keep an eye on during the selection process. For the Calgary Flames, there are four connections between potential draftees and past Flames.
Hamilton Bulldogs blueliner Jorian Donovan is 6’2″, 181 pounds, and the son of former Flames winger Shean Donovan. Donovan seems primed to be a potential third-rounder – he’s ranked 81st by Bob McKenzie and 82nd by FC Hockey – and he’s coming off a rookie OHL season that saw him win a league championship and play in the Memorial Cup.
Winger Cole Spicer, most recently of the U.S. National Development Team, is a University of Minnesota-Duluth commit and former Flame David Hale’s nephew. (Remember Hale? He was a steady third-pairing guy who didn’t score his first NHL goal until his fifth NHL season.) Spicer is ranked 90th by FC Hockey.
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Defender Jack Sparkes is a whopping 6’8″ and 234 pounds and a right shot. He’s also the grandson of legendary Flames figure Al MacNeil, who was the last Atlanta coach and the first Calgary coach and later worked in a bunch of hockey operations roles. (His name is on the Stanley Cup.) Sparkes isn’t highly ranked, so he might be a long-shot to get selected this week, but he’s also huge so don’t rule him out as a late-round pick somewhere.
Defender Aiden Dubinsky was teammates with Flames prospects Arsenii Sergeev and Ilya Nikolaev with the USHL’s powerhouse Tri-City Storm last season, but he’s also the son of former Flame Steve Dubinsky. Like Sparkes, he’s a long-shot to get selected (and he’s not as big as Sparkes).