Should the Flames Trade Up in the Draft?

Nick Laham

Open Poll to M&G Readers

As Flames fans we are heading into new territory.Paths that our foes up in Edmonton have not only travelled but actually worn paths so deep they may as well be paved highways. Conversations circulated up in Oiler land so often they are almost as common as discussing the weather but for us as Flames fans it is all brand new.

Here we are for the first time in franchise history looking like we are actually going to draft in the top 5 picks. We are the only NHL franchise that has never had a top 5 draft pick and it is all kind of new to us. I am personally curious how the Flames fan base feels about draft tactics that are commonly discussed by the bottom dwellers.

Should the Flames find a way to move up on the draft and if so, what path should they take?

Scenario 1: Depends where we are...

You may be open to trading up if the Flames suddenly are picking 5th overall or at some other threshold you decide personally. What is high enough though? The lotto is going to be a little nerve racking this year as there is a very solid chance the Flames get pushed down in ranking and in that case we very well may be picking 6th overall, 5th 4th or 3rd.

This is obviously a critical draft for the future of the franchise.The Flames can not miss on their first round pick but where is the threshold where you consider trading up? Out of the top 2, top 3, top 4, top 5?

Scenario 2: No, diversify the odds.

Diversify, do not trade up. You may be comfortable with the depth in this draft, you may be optimistic about even the lower picks and your attitude may be to keep as many picks as you can. At the end of day you may hit on all three but it is unlikely but this is supposed to be a deep draft? Are you in this mindset?

If the Flames actually got NHL roster players from all three picks, this would be the best choice but the likelihood of that happening on all 3 first round picks is not probable but maybe this the draft to do it?

Scenario 3: Yes, trade up no matter what

You want Seth Jones or whoever as your new franchise player to build the team around. You are locked and committed to getting the very best player you can.

Even in that scenario that the Flames win the lotto and get the 1st overall pick you still want to trade up by packaging the Blues and Pens pick to get higher. You are committed to trading up in the draft anyway you can.

No matter where the Flames are, you are absolutely trying to trade up higher. You see that Pittsburgh pick as a throw away.

Scenario 4: Trade up with a prospect like Sven or Johnny G to get higher in the draft.

Trading up with Sven, Backlund or Johnny G. You are keeping all three picks but you are ready to move one of them up by packaging on of the prospects.

You are even ready to cash in the current cream of the Flames prospects to do it. It may be only a drop of cream but there are former 1sts there in Backlund, Sven and Johnny G is clearly valuable as a 1st round pick now.

Johnny G is turning a lot of heads out there but he is still a small guy. Are you ready to package him with the Flames lower pick to get Seth Jones, a more sure thing.

The Flames have a surplus of Wingers, should they ship out a Sven or Johnny G with their pick to get that coveted big Center, that big Barkov or MacKinnon?

Although Backlund is on every advanced stats guy's happy list, this beer in hand guy with no calculator is going to point out the obvious that the best player in the world isn't of much use if he is so injury prone he can't show up for work. Yeah I like the kid too, I can see he is a smart player but he is also injury prone. May not have the muscle to handle the big league but we may be able to ship him now to move up in the draft.

Player on the ice is worth two Backlunds in the injury bush, if you know what I mean.

I could see a 1st + Sven or Johnny G moving us up in the draft. You don't build your team around Wingers, you do it around the C...

So the argument goes here. We can cut one loose to move up, do you want to do this...

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Well there it is, what say you Flames fans?

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