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FLAMES 2015 Draft Recap, Prospects & Season Thread

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06-22-2015, 12:07 PM
  #1
MatthewFlames
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FLAMES 2015 Draft Recap, Prospects & Season Thread

The Flames came into day 1 with only the 8th overall pick.

There were three players (outside of McDavid and Eichel) that the Flames wanted to fall to 8. Only one made it to 8, so despite shopping the pick for a couple weeks to see if someone would overpay, I had no hesitation taking...

1.8 Mathew Barzal - C - Seattle Thunderbirds - WHL


Mathew Barzal in action for Seattle

For me, there is little downside in selecting Barzal. Super high hockey IQ, combined with creativity, passing and the much desired puck possession attributes needed by centers in today's NHL, make him a very safe pick. His skating is fantastic, he isn't afraid to mix it up, and his compete level is extremely high. This is a kid that doesn't like to lose and will do what it takes to be better.

He's one of the younger players in the draft, and constantly improved throughout the year, which is something that made sour on some of the other players who were originally considerations for this pick. Accusations that he is a perimeter player are unfounded, he is a player that finds holes and seams, and works them. His confidence grew as the year went on and was dominant World under-18's.

He is self aware enough to comment on his need to improved defensively (even though he is willing and more refined in this area than most 17 year olds) and the need to put his good shot to use instead of being a pass first player. Parts of his game remind me of both Matt Duchene and Sean Monahan.

__

The Flames list beyond the first round was very short, two players for the 2nd, two players for the 3rd, and then a list of BPA. The Flames then attempted to trade into the 2nd round but were unable to package the right elements to do so in time to nab the players they wanted, both of whom were taken by the 40th pick.

The action then settled on finding a way to grab two earlier thirds to nab the next players on the list.

The earliest the Flames could get back on the board at a reasonable level, and grab another early/mid third, was 65, and as always happens, the player the Flames wanted was the pick before the Flames could pick (Rob ended up with 2 of the 4 players I wanted... bah)...

Regardless, the Flames had the 65th pick now and one of the 4 was available...

3.65 Alec Dillon - G - Edmonton Oil Kings - WHL


Flames 2014 draft pick Brian Bowen scores on Dillon in USHL action

Alec Dillon was a Flames target for almost a year (he was drafted by the LA Kings in the 5th round last year) and when Roy traded into the 3rd round with the 63rd pick, I was convinced that the chance was gone. Instead, he took Booth, and Dillon became a Flame. The Vancouver Island native is 6'5", yet athletic and mentally strong with good fundamentals. He's improved dramatically over the last two seasons (in the BCHL and then USHL) and has now signed to play with Edmonton in the WHL for the coming season.

He was the LA Kings prospect of the year (per The Hockey News), the USHL rookie goalie of the year and USHL 2nd All Star Team goalie. He led the USHL in GAA.

__

At 79th, the Flames were onto the Lightnings favorite players available list....

1.79 AJ Greer - W - Boston University - NCAA


AJ Greer went the final of the Frozen Four with BU

Rather than being a total stat watcher, the Flames went with attributes when picking Greer. He's big (just shy of 6'3" and 210lbs at the combine), he can really skate, he loves the physical play, and he improved all year, from limited 4th line minutes at the start of the year to the second line by the time the Frozen Four rolled around.

He's an old school styled winger, strong on the boards and as a forechecker, but he has the skating ability to play in the new NHL. Players like this are valuable to NHL teams come the playoffs and I could see him going much earlier in the NHL draft. Greer has plenty of offensive upside as well, he scored at over 2PPG the year before accelerating to go the college route and has an incredible slapshot. And the Flames have had previous success with Quebec kids who go to the NCAA's (Killorn), so no fear there. He's coachable but needs a lot of time to round out his defensive game and let his hands and hockey IQ catch up to his body.


Last edited by MatthewFlames: 07-06-2015 at 11:35 AM.
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06-22-2015, 12:24 PM
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Canuck09
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We've discussed this plenty already, but I'm clearly a fan of all 3 picks, as all 3 were players I had high on my list.

Once my deal for #5 (Strome) started to firm up I really did lock in on Provorov as I knew I'd end up with both a top tier F & D prospect. If I only had 6 on draft day, it would have been years of Forbort/Skinner all over again I'm sure. The top end offensive forwards just transition so much easier.

As for Greer, I agree completely with what you said. I don't watch any college hockey but the stuff I was able to read on him made me look beyond the stats. His progression throughout the season and skill/size combo was a very intriguing package in the late 3rd. His draft rankings were so split that I thought that point was a safe spot to wait on him. Shame on me.

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06-22-2015, 01:41 PM
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Lord Stanley
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I like the Greer pick, I had him as a mid/late 2nd rounder on my list. Sort of reminds me of Fasching who I picked two years ago at the end of the 2nd round. Barzal was my target if I had traded for your 8th pick.

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06-22-2015, 03:43 PM
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Alec Dillon was a player I was watching. His trajectory reminds me a bit of Connor Hellebuyck, who I took around the same spot in the draft a while back. Going to the Oil Kings is going to be a great move for him. Getting a boat load of starts. I really like the Barzal pick as well. Nice picks!

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06-22-2015, 10:56 PM
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Without a second rounder, we weren't really competing for the same players this year. Barzal is the easy pick at 8, and we've talked about him before.

With Dillon and Greer, I had the former on my list but not so much the latter, probably because I was stat watching. With Eichel, Rodrigues and others moving on, there should be ice time for him. Maybe I missed the boat on AJ.

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06-25-2015, 12:42 PM
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The Flames made three last minute trades leading up to the trade freeze: They added 2 4th round picks, 3 7th round picks and a 2016 6th round pick in exchange for Deryk Engellend, 2 7ths, and a 3rd and 5th in future drafts, as well as cash. That left the Flames with seven additional picks on day 2, and feeling like there was plenty of room just to go not just high risk but high reward, piss of the Jets management, and still nab a couple quality goalie prospects despite "Goalie Madness" at this draft.

__

4.98 - Nikita Pavlychev - C - Des Moines - USHL


Pavlychev may be the tallest man to ever take a faceoff

So, lets see. The Flames like Russians. Check. They draft too many unknown players from the USHS&USHL systems. Check. They draft them too high. Check. And well, who else has a 6'7" Russian prospect playing in the United States, who is a centre at that height, and who's noted ability is his playmaking? Well, nobody. So this is a classic Flamettes pick. He's a defensively reliable player who is a good skater despite being a bit unorthodox, he's got soft hands and uses his frame well, so what's not too love? Pavlychev probably won't be drafted in the NHL, and he'll spend another season in the USHL before going to Penn State, but he seemed to be a worthwhile investment.

4.105 - David Cotton - C - Cushing Academy - USHS


Cotton was the highest scoring draft eligible player in Prep hockey

NHL size, top level skating, hockey IQ and athleticism, and with quotes from his coach like this: "His puck possession skills are off the charts. He just never turns the puck over," David Cotton was a player the Flames had to have, even if it may be a reach to grab him this early. The Texan is 6'2" and already 200lbs and has the frame to add more, plays a physical pro style already and has a nice skill set.

He's been noted as a sleeper in a few places, despite being rated 62 by central scouting. Cotton will play with Waterloo in the USHL next season before heading off to Boston College.

5.143 - Nolan Vesey - LW - University of Maine - NCAA


Vesey about to score his first college goal

The chunkier, less talented and puke, Maple Leafier of the two Vesey brothers is a Flame, joining Jimmy in the Flamettes orginization. Taken in the 6th round last year by the Leafs, Vesey had a real up and down season in Maine. He was benched, returned to be rookie of the week, cooled off and then got hot again, scoring in bunches. Like his brother, he has high hockey IQ and soft hands, is a good skater and has solid NHL height. He still has a long way to go, he needs to continue to work in the weight room and find some additional consistency in his game.

__

With Vesey, the Flames had nabbed 3 of the top 4 names on their list. The next two picks were 9th and 11th on the Flames list. So, all in all, a happy day.

6.159 - Cameron Hughes - C - University of Wisconsin - NCAA


Cameron Hughes accelerated to enter college at 17

In what is a bumper crop of NCAA players in the draft, Hughes is probably one of the least noticed. After a fantastic offensive year in the AJHL where he was talked about as having 1st round NHL draft potential, Hughes was given a defensive role and barely played as a freshman on a terrible Wisconsin team. Despite that, he's a really tough kid who never backs down and plays with aggression. Doesn't have great size but plays like he's trying to get away from Edmonton (his home town) as fast as he can.

Like AJ Greer, we think he showed enough offensive potential earlier in his career to ignore his stats this season and hope that as they get more playing time those attributes will re-emerge. In the meantime, he really plays a 200ft game and if he can add muscle could be a useful bottom 6 player because of his skating and grittiness. Every draft guide has positive things to say about him, Redline rated him 71st, FC didn't rank him but called him a sleeper and Black Book who also didn't rate him included 4 scouting reports which were all positive. Plus he's named after a wine brand.

7.186 - Austin Strand - D - Red Deer - WHL


More defensively minded Dmen like Strand are out of fashion

When Strand was drafted into the WHL he was already close to 6'2" but weighed in at only 150 lbs. Now, he's added considerable muscle mass, and still has a way to go, but he's closing in on 6'3" and 200lbs. Strand is a throwback to more defensive minded defenseman, and has the potential to be a shut down guy in the future, and I could see a few north of the border Canadian franchises in the NHL drafting him.

He has good skating and agility, and excels with his defensive zone coverage. He has been known to drop the gloves and lay out the big hit and if he can become more of an imposing physical force he could grow into a useful bottom pairing guy in the NHL. He still needs to work on his play with the puck and in the offensive zone, where he has a bit of a lack of confidence. On a deep blueline in Red Deer and is already a leader despite being one of the younger members.

7. 190 - Ryan Bednard - G - Johnstown - NAHL


Bednard has the size every NHL team is chasing

Ryan Bernard hails from the latest goalie development league, the NAHL. With the success of Anthony Stolarz and Connor Hellebuyck, more and more scouts are trolling the league and picking out the raw giants that might become the next hot NHL flavor of the week. At 6'4" with great athleticism, Bednard is the perfect long term prospect. He'll play in the USHL next season before attending Bowling Green University.


7.198 - Jake Kupsky - G - Lone Star - NAHL


And now for a goalie completely off the radar

Matej Tomek may be the hot property amongst NAHL goaltenders, but if they were watching the NAHL playoffs they may have noticed the player who's team knocked Tomek out of the playoffs. Another raw, athletic giant, Kupsky is 6'5" and 210 lbs. Despite being 3rd time eligible, the Flames are excited that Kupsky is heading to Union College where he will continue his development.


Last edited by MatthewFlames: 10-29-2015 at 11:08 AM.
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06-25-2015, 01:09 PM
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May all your guys be picked by the Leafs (other than the one who already was). It's the least you deserve.

Well done on Day 2. Despite missing him on my list I like the Cotton pick.

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06-25-2015, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck09 View Post
May all your guys be picked by the Leafs (other than the one who already was). It's the least you deserve.
May all yours be Oilers....

Quote:

Well done on Day 2. Despite missing him on my list I like the Cotton pick.
Considering Brock wouldn't let me use your list and you lied to me about the 9 am deadline causing mass panic, thank you!

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06-25-2015, 03:19 PM
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Meh draft. As to be expected with this GM.

I think Barzal could end up being a top five player from this draft in five years time. Cotton was another one on my list.

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06-25-2015, 03:21 PM
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Nice draft for the Flamettes. I had my sights set on Barzal, but I can't complain with getting Werenski. I had a few inquiries about moving up from the 9 spot, but I knew staying at 9 would allow me to get one of the guys I wanted in that 6-9 range without having to make a difficult choice.

Greer, Cotton, and even Bednard were all guys I looked at too that I like for your team.

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06-25-2015, 03:57 PM
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Considering Brock wouldn't let me use your list and you lied to me about the 9 am deadline causing mass panic, thank you!
You can call it mass panic. I'll call it extra focus. Without that focus you may not have nailed your Day 2 draft like you did.

You're welcome.

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06-25-2015, 04:43 PM
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How'd you get 3 goalies...booooo

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06-25-2015, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryden View Post
How'd you get 3 goalies...booooo
I am enrolled part time in the Dryden school of drafting

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06-25-2015, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAndWhite View Post
Meh draft. As to be expected with this GM.
If nothing else my drafts are always meh.

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06-25-2015, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck09 View Post
You can call it mass panic. I'll call it extra focus. Without that focus you may not have nailed your Day 2 draft like you did.

You're welcome.
Pfffft. You made me forget to add Osipov to my list

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07-06-2015, 11:56 AM
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The Flames are now pretty much set for their assault on the season. The Flames targeted two things this off-season, a true top line forward and a starting goalie, hoping the addition of those two things, as well as the influx of decently rated rookies, would allow them to challenge for a playoff spot.

Before these two trades, the Flames were under the salary floor for this season, and set a budget of $65 million, which meant the possible addition of $16 million this season, and looking ahead, as much as $18 million in possible salary (not counting the Luongo,Getzlaf extensions) for two to four years down the road.

THE TRADES

IN

Ryan Getzlaf
Roberto Luongo
2017 NJD 3rd


OUT

2016 CGY 1st
2017 CGY 2nd
Ville Pokka
Laurent Dauphin
Josh Anderson
$1,000,000


THE TABLES HAVE TURNED

One of the big advantages the Flames have now is that they have cash, cap space, and a ton of prospect depth and have put them to full use, taking advantage of teams who are where the Flames used to be, in financial trouble and looking to discard salary.

To keep cap flexibility, both additions have 1 year deals so the Flames are not hamstrung long term, but both additions were made within the 3 to 4 year planning so they can be extended longer term. A big influx of entry level contracts, players signed to decent 2nd contracts and long term deals in the NHL for the potentially large salaried players has made it much easier to keep to the budget and stay well clear of the cap ($7 million in cap space for 15/16) as well as plan for the future.

Another big factor was that the Flames didn't have to give up any of their key prospects moving forward, especially the recent first rounders. Emotionally, it is hard to give up on players drafted by the team, or players acquired after lengthy chases, but it's a case of starting to win now, as well as continuing the rebuild. As the Wild proved this year, you just need to get into the playoffs to have a shot.

The Flames only have one player over 35 (Luongo), and two players over 30 (Getzlaf, Phaneuf) and hopefully we'll be able to exploit all these players in their prime.

LINES FOR 15/16

Lee (R) - Getzlaf - Skinner
Anisimov - Backlund - Killorn
Lewis - Berglund - Nichushkin (R)
Condra - Colborne - Kassian

Phaneuf - Klingberg (R)
Ekholm (R) - Sekera
Gardiner - de Haan

Luongo
Reimer

SPARES

Wiercioch - Orlov
Mueller (R) - Murphy (R)
Marincin (R)

Khudobin
Stalock (R)


The Flames continue to search for good deals in moving their spare parts for additional strength in the starting line-up or future draft picks.


Last edited by MatthewFlames: 07-06-2015 at 02:31 PM.
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07-26-2015, 12:50 PM
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The Calgary Flames are happy to announce several contract signings.

Of critical importance, the Flames announce that Ryan Getzlaf has signed a 3 year extension, keeping him with the Flames for the longer term.

The Flames have signed defenseman John Klingberg, Ryan Murphy and Martin Marincin to entry level deals along with forward Valeri Nichushkin.

Also signing their first contracts, but no longer eligible for ELC deals, are Mattias Ekholm and Anders Lee.

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10-18-2015, 11:30 AM
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It's been an interesting start to the season for the baby Flamettes in the minors, NCAA's and juniors. Some failures and poor showings in camps, but also some amazing surprises.

Let's start with the biggest surprise. Dylan Larkin, who while impressive in camp, probably only made the team because of injuries. But after 5 games, with 6 points, he has led all Red Wings forwards in ice time for the previous two games and is +7 on the season.

In Dallas, Radek Faksa made his NHL debut, hit the post on his first shift, laid out some big hits and generally played well.

Austin Watson returned to the NHL after a two year absence and Stanlislav Galiev has dressed for a couple games as he tries to adjust to the next level.

Mathew Barzal was a late cut and struggled early back in the WHL, but has caught fire with 5 points in his last two games. Alec Dillon meanwhile has struggled mightily in net for the Oil Kings.

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11-07-2015, 02:19 PM
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The Calgary Flames are pleased to announce the addition of defenseman David Savard from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Ryan Murphy, prospect forward David Cotton and the Philadelphia 1st Round Pick gained in the trade for Dmitri Orlov.

Savard adds some needed toughness and defemsive accumen to a Flames blueline that conceded the most goals in pre-season. With the addition it is expected that Pat Wiercioch will hit the trade block and one of Calvin deHaan or Mattias Ekholm will be sent down to the minors.

NOTES

Radek Faksa scored his first NHL goal.

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