Yesterday, potential deals involving Robyn Regehr and Ryan Smyth took centre stage where the Flames are concerned, but while we await a resolution, it's time to turn our attention to the task at hand--the 13th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft.
Over the course of the past month, Arik and myself have been profiling players whom the Flames could potentially select with their first round pick and their first pick in the second round (45th overall). Here are the links in case you missed any of the write-ups:
- Sven Bartschi
- Alexander Khokhlachev
- Mark Scheifele
- Ty Rattie
- Matt Puempel
- Mika Zibanejad
- Joel Armia
- Mark McNeill (Mock Draft selection)
- Shane Prince
- Gregory Hoffman
- Jamieson Oleksiak
- Miikka Salomaki
- Jonas Brodin
- Joachim Nermark
- Oscar Klefbom
The consensus amongst most Flames fans seems to be that the team should select a forward. Even after the departure of Tim Erixon, the organization has maintained a level of capable depth on defence, but finds itself wanting where skilled scorers and playmakers are concerned, and the 13th overall pick in the Draft presents an opportunity for Feaster and the Flames to take the first step towards filling that void.
While the player the Flames select with this pick likely won't be "NHL ready," other forward prospects like Max Reinhart and...uh...Max Reinhart will likely have made the jump to the next level by the time he is, which is the closest thing to optimism I have to offer you at the moment. There's always the chance that a team picking in the top ten could choose to go off the board and a better player could fall to the Flames in a draft year with so much uncertainty surrounding who the best players available actually are, but it's unlikely.
The Flames were historically predisposed to selecting their players from the CHL and. more specifically, the WHL under Darryl Sutter, and it'll be interesting to see if that changes at all with Jay Feaster at the helm. As we all know his drafting record is...spotty, to say the least, but some of the blame for that has to fall on his scouts. Hopefully Goulet and Co. have done their homework.
The first round of the Draft starts at 5PM MT, 7PM EST and can be seen on TSN, Versus, and the NHL Network, and will be streamed live on NHL.com.