The Calgary Flames enter today’s draft with eight draft picks, and even more positions to fill. The first chapter of this rebuild has now been written. Four defensemen and four forwards were selected once all was said and done. Six Canadians, an American, and a Russian in total.
Selected sixth overall was Sean Monahan. He is a two way center who is exceptional in the face-off circle and led his team in points. If this were any other year, Monahan likely would’ve been taken in the top three, so we were fortunate that it was a deep draft. He is not the most flashy of players, but he is a very solid all-around player. Think of Scott Gomez when he was with the New Jersey Devils. That is as good of a place to start a rebuild as any. The 6-2 187 pound forward will likely start the season in Calgary. Whether or not he is returned to Ottawa is yet to be seen. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the ice in a couple months.
With our second pick at 22, the flames selected Emile Poirier. Like Monahan, he also led his team in scoring. He is a feisty winger that is very fast, something almost unheard of in Calgary since Matthew Lombardi was traded. With him, you are going to get someone like Andrew Cogliano at worst or a star player at best. Nothing to shake a stick at either way.
Rounding out our selections in the first round was left-winger Morgan Klimchuk. Morgan possesses one of the best releases of any player in the draft. With his shot, he will likely develop into a quality NHL player. Add in the fact that he is compared to Steve Larmer, in terms of how he plays the game, it seems we might have very good player on our hands.
Adding these three very skilled forwards into the prospect pool will help to round out a quality top nine that includes the likes of Sven Baertschi, Mark Jankowski, John Gaudreau, and Corban Knight.
The following two picks were defensemen Keegan Kanzig and Eric Roy. Keegan Kanzig is a 6-5 240 pound tough guy who is a good fighter and generally solid that also has a bad temper. There really isn’t much to say about him other than he did improve significantly from last year. If he takes a step forward again next year then he might become a decent prospect.
Eric Roy is an offense of defensemen that has a hard time playing defense. Once thought of as a possible first round pick, he slid all the way to the fifth round. He is 6-2, so if the whole defense thing does not work out perhaps he can be converted into a winger in order to utilize his offensive instincts.
In the sixth round, the Flames selected Tim Harrison. When the Flames selected him, there was no record of who he was anywhere. He is a high schooler from Dexter Prep apparently. He will be attending college next year. He did record 16 goals and 14 assists in 17 games last season. A bit of an unknown, so either it’ll be a great pick or a nice try I guess
With the 7th rounders, we selected Rushing Russian Rushan Rafikov. If it wasn’t for the KHL factor, he would not be there in the 7th round. Can’t complain about taking risks with 7th rounders. Lastly was defenseman John Gilmour. He is teammates with both John Gillies and Mark Jankowski. At least we’ll have his rights for 4 years before making up our mind to keep him or not.
This was a very big day in Calgary Flames history. Hopefully several of these players become NHLers over the coming seasons. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the week will develop as free agency starts on Friday.
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