The 2010 NHL Entry Draft is quickly approaching, and, thus far, the Flames' first pick will be in the third round, 64th overall. I've decided to profile a few players whom the Flames could potentially select come June 25th-26th. Today's player is Kelowna Rockets winger Brett Bulmer. Ranked 65th by Central Scouting in their final rankings, he moved up 99(!) spots from his mid-term ranking of 164th overall.
Junior Team: Kelowna Rockets
At 18 years old, this past season was just Bulmer's first with the WHL's Kelowna Rockets. In 65 games, he scored thirteen goals (7ES, 6PP) and added twenty-seven assists for forty points, 95 PIMS, and a minus-7 rating on a Rockets squad that finished in sixth place in the WHL's Western Conference with a record of 35-31-6 and 76 points. In twelve playoff games, Bulmer scored 3-2-5 and was +1 with 6 PIMS. Described as a strong winger who plays an up-tempo, physical style of game, Bulmer is particularly strong in the corners and along the boards, and is excellent at protecting the puck. His improved speed and skating combined with his willingness to compete in the "dirty areas" of the ice point to a potential future as a power forward likened to the Avs' Chris Stewart, and perhaps explains why his draft stock has risen so dramatically in the past few months. In terms of weaknesses, Bulmer still lacks strength comparable to his size. His defensive game is lax at times, and while his hands are considered "quick," his general hockey sense--especially when it comes to stick-handling and receiving passes--still needs some work, but that should some with age and experience.
The fact that Bulmer has played only one season of Major Junior is both a weakness and a strength. It classifies as a weakness because his game is still quite raw, so any team that drafts him has to acknowledge the risk of him turning out to be a "bust," and a strength because he has the potential to develop according to the needs of the team that drafts him. As such, it's questionable whether or not he'd really be the right fit for the Flames. While Bulmer definitely has a fair bit of offensive upside, the organization already has a number of "work in progress" prospects in their system. They could potentially do better, but could almost certainly do worse as well.