Skip to main content

2015 Draft Preview – Calgary Flames putting size on the agenda

The Flames vowed to get bigger last summer and did with the acquisitions of Brandon Bollig and Deryk Engelland. But president of operations Brian Burke and GM Brad Treliving wanted to beef up the system as well.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The Flames vowed to get bigger last summer and did with the acquisitions of Brandon Bollig and Deryk Engelland. But president of operations Brian Burke and GM Brad Treliving wanted to beef up the system as well. Three of the five skaters drafted in 2014 are big boys getting bigger. Hunter Smith, Adam Ollas Mattsson and Austin Carroll average 6-foot-5, 215 pounds. Don’t expect that mandate to change.

Picks

Round 1, pick 15

Round 2, picks 45, 52, 53

Round 3, picks 76, 83

Round 5, pick 136

Round 6, pick 166

Round 7, pick 196

SHORT-TERM NEEDS

David Jones is the only right-shooting right winger with NHL experience, and he’s going into the final year of his deal. Ideally, the Flames could fill a need via the free agent front, but they’re hard to come by. Prospect Emile Poirier is a left-shooting right winger.

LONG-TERM NEEDS

Calgary has had 10 first-round picks in the past decade, and only one was used to select a defenseman. That was Tim Erixon, who refused to sign, forcing the team to trade him. So it’s not a surprise to see a dearth of blue-chippers in the pipeline. The Flames have six picks among the top 85 selections this year. Expect three or four of them to be used on blueliners.

CAP SITUATION

Mikael Backlund, Lance Bouma and Josh Jooris are the most prominent RFAs who need to be signed, and if Calgary wants UFA goalie Karri Ramo to stick around, that will cost at least $3 million. Fortunately, the Flames have a ton of cap space. They can’t squander it, though, because their best players – Mark Giordano, Jiri Hudler, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Jonas Hiller and Kris Russell – have expiring contracts in 2016.

IN THE SYSTEM 2015-16

Sam Bennett averaged more than two points per game in the OHL after returning from shoulder surgery in March. He still has a season of junior remaining, but he won an NHL job with a good showing in the NHL playoffs. Tyler Wotherspoon is also ready.

DID YOU KNOW

The Flames have three potential goalies of the future – AHL standout Joni Ortio, a 24-year-old Finn, NCAA title star stopper Jon Gillies, who is 21, and 19-year-old Mason McDonald, drafted 34th overall in 2014.

THN will be releasing its Team Reports from Draft Preview for each of the 30 NHL franchises in the week leading up to the NHL Draft. Read them in our “Draft” channel.

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_17184213

NHL Off-Season Outlook: Chicago Blackhawks

If the Blackhawks are going to put up more of a challenge in the Central Division, they're going to need to have a busy summer.

McDonagh

Hockey Things: What Caught Our Eye (July 4 Edition)

3Ice is making headlines, Johnny Gaudreau's dominance as a kid gets brought back up and Ryan McDonagh is now king of the summer press conference. Take a look at three fun moments from the past week.

USATSI_18091105

Three NHL Playoff Contenders With Some Work to do This Summer

Some teams might be one piece away. Others might need a couple. Here's a look at three teams with interesting off-seasons ahead of them.