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Flames Select Emile Poirier 22nd Overall

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Bruce Bennett

We all suspected the Flames might go off the board with one of their three picks in the first round of this year's draft, and with this one they did exactly that--especially when native Calgarian Hunter Shinkaruk was still available.

Poirier scored 32 goals and 70 points in 65 games with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL this past season, a 30-point improvement upon his totals from 2011-12.

The 6"1 18-year-old winger is a versatile player who can play defence and spent some time on the penalty kill last season. He was ranked in the late 20s to early 60s by various mock drafts, and certainly appears to be more of a project pick than other players the Flames could have drafted at this spot, but I suppose only time will tell.

Here's Corey Pronman on Poirier (via Habs EOTP):

He has good skill elements to his game: above-average hands, good quickness, and impressive coordination with the puck. His hockey sense is equally notable, as he makes good offensive zone reads as a playmaker and he knows where to position himself off of the puck. He also displays a solid shot, capable of finishing beyond the high-percentage areas. He has a gritty element to his game as well. He will show some edge in one-on-one battles, as well as drive to the net. Scouts are conflicted on his skating, with one praising it, and another saying that despite decent speed, his agility and the overall finer aspects of his skating need work.