PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The first round of the 2012 Entry Draft was nothing like most observers expected, and the Flames trading down to acquire the 21st overall pick--with which they selected centre Mark Jankowski--and the 42nd pick in today's second round was no exception.
Rounds 2-7 of the Draft continued today in Pittsburgh, and the Flames approached the remainder of their selections with an eye towards filling other voids in their system--mainly on the back end, as three of their six picks today were defenders.
Let's get to know the rest of the new Flames after the jump.
D Patrick Sieloff--USHL/OHL Windsor Spitfires
With the 42nd overall pick acquired yesterday from Buffalo, the Flames selected 6"0, 198 lb. USHL defenceman Patrick Sieloff, who recently signed with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires after the team acquired his rights in deal with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds last year. Sieloff decided to sign with Windsor despite previously committing to Miami University, presumably because Windsor is closer to home for the Ann Arbor, Michigan native.
Here's what Spitfires General Manager Warren Rychel had to say about the addition of Sieloff:
"This is a huge addition to our hockey club,..Pat is a leader, a warrior and an excellent defensive defenceman. This is a piece of the puzzle our team desperately needed to secure. He was a force for the USDP U-18 team and I'm looking forward to him donning the Spitfires logo."
From Last Word on Sports:
...Sieloff played big minutes for a team that also featured Jacob Trouba, and Brady Skjei. He was a member of the United States’ gold medal winning squad at the 2012 IIHF Under 18 World Hockey Championships.
..Sieloff might be the best bodychecker in this draft, especially in open ice. He may not be the biggest player on the ice, but he is an extremely physically punishing player and he just loves going for the big hit...Sieloff is a very good skater. He has solid speed both forwards and backwords, good edgework and agility, and is strong on his skates.
...Sieloff has decent defensive instincts, and battles hard on the boards and keeps the front of his net clear. He is a willing shot blocker, and understands how to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He is a solid stay at home type defenceman and is an important defenseman for the US squad being used for big minutes in matchup situations and to kill penalties.
G Jon Gillies--USHL/Providence College
It wouldn't be a successful Draft for the Calgary Flames if they came out without a goaltender, and this year they selected American puck-stopper Jon Gilles--who will join Mark Jankowski at Providence College this fall--in the third round.
Gillies, a native of South Portland, Maine, played for the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League this past season. The 6-foot-5 netminder led the league with 31 wins and ranked fourth with a .915 save percentage. Gillies was recently ranked sixth among North American goalies in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings.
From The Scouting Report:
...Gillies is not very agile in net, but does not necessarily have to be as he is very technically sound. He has a great glove hand and is tough to beat in the top corners of the net. It seemed like there were games this season where the flood gates would open if teams would score on him early. With two impressive seasons in Indiana, Gillies is set to make the transition to the college game and is likely take over the reins as the starter at Providence College this fall.
D Brett Kulak--WHL Vancouver Giants
Kulak, the Flames' fourth round pick, is a 6"1, 175 lb. defender from Stony Plain, Alta. who wrapped up his rookie season with the GIants as an 18-year-old this spring. He collected nine goals and 24 points in 72 games and was +29 with only 22 PIMS. In the playoffs, Kulak scored four assists in six games.
Kulak is a solid, but somewhat unspectacular defender for the Giants. He’s got good size and is a solid skater, but he isn’t overly physical. He moves the puck well, plays with his head up and has great poise with the puck. He defends by using his body positioning and stick very effectively, but could definitely bring more mean into his game. He won’t jump off the page at you in anything he does, but he rarely is caught out of position or makes mistakes with the puck. Projects to be a 4th round selection, although I would have him rated slightly higher than that.
D Ryan Culkin--QMJHL Quebec Remparts
With their fifth-round pick, the Flames selected defenceman Ryan Culkin from the Quebec Remparts. The 18-year-old scored six goals and 25 points in 60 games and was +9 in his second season with Quebec. This spring, Culkin scored seven assists in 10 playoff games. Calgary selected him 105th overall and Corey Pronman had him ranked 110th as an "honourable mention" just outside of his Hockey Prospectus Top-100.
From Hockey's Future:
A hard-working two-way blue liner, Culkin has steadily improved during his time in the QMJHL. A strong skater with a low panic threshold, these skills serve him well at both ends of the ice. Sometimes guilty of trying to do too much on the ice, he has good size and has become more confident moving the puck as well as carrying it on the rush.
LW Coda Gordon--WHL Swift Current Broncos
Another Alberta native, 17-year-old Coda Gordon played his first season with the Swift Current Broncos in 2011-12, scoring 30 goals and 53 points in 66 games with the WHL squad, which missed out on the post-season this spring. Gordon made the Broncos after being invited to training camp, and finished fourth in goals amongst WHL rookies and eighth in total scoring. Gordon also scored 15 powerplay goals, good for twelfth in the league in that category.
From The Hockey Writers:
...To borrow a line from Dino Ciccarelli, you won’t find many of Coda Gordon’s goals on the highlight films. His is a no-frills game that gets results. He faces a challenge next season with the departure of linemate Taylor Vause, who assisted on 19 of his 30 goals.
The downside most often mentioned about Coda is his skating. He will not be mistaken for a young Paul Coffey. Yet given the right amount of commitment, it’s something he can improve, and in fact his skating has come a long way from where it was at the start of the season. Another downside with some wiggle room is his physicality: He needs to add weight, muscle, and a chip on his shoulder, enough to make him mean when necessary.
Corey Pronman ranked Gordon 86th overall in this year's Draft in his Top-100, and the Flames snagged him at 165th in the sixth round. Here's what Pronman had to say about the 6"0, 174 lb. winger (via The Hockey Writers):
Gordon has an accurate shot that shows plus velocity and has the ability to finish from way out … He doesn’t make a ton of plays, but he’s certainly a smart player who makes all the right, simple distributions and will flash something beyond. He has decent hands, not a tick above, but he isn’t a liability with the puck and will show fine coordination.
C Matthew DeBlouw--USHL/Michigan State
Another Michigan native, DeBlouw overcame a ruptured spleen in his rookie season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and put up decent numbers in his second season en route to getting drafted by the Flames earlier today.
From Buzzing the Net:
DeBlouw, who's from Chesterfield, Mich., is considered a safe pick. The 6-foot-¼, 185-pounder also scored highly on the strength testing at the combine and looks like his frame still has some filling out to do, which could give him the strength to be an effective bottom-six forward at the NHL level. On the ice, he uses his speed well and is considered a very heady player, making his offensive contributions through good positioning. He had 11 goals and 33 points in 58 games this season.
One of the interesting aspects of this year's draft class is the heavy presence of USHL/NCAA players and the noted absence of any European players whatsoever, which I'm hoping is more due to John Weisbrod's influence and not a retread of the old Sutter style approach to drafting/player development. It's hard to make any concrete predictions or evaluations of this year's haul right off the bat, but it will be interesting and exciting to track the progress of these guys regardless, since you never know when a diamond in the rough could emerge and it seems like the Flames snagged a few players below or around where they were ranked by guys like Pronman.
What do you think of the 2012 Draft Class?