The Calgary Flames defense this season had more than just a few problems. With Ladislav Smid and Deryk Engelland starting the season as their bottom pairing and Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman being a poor possession second pairing, defense was a glaring weakness for the team. There's no help on the horizon either, as the number of thrilling defensive prospects in the Flames system can be counted on zero hands.
If things go according to SBNation's mock draft, that could change very quickly. The top two spots in the draft were obvious, but there were plenty of unknowns from there. Fortunately for Calgary a splendid defensive prospect fell into their laps. The preceding picks went as follows:
|1||Edmonton Oilers||Connor McDavid|
|2||Buffalo Sabres||Jack Eichel|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||Dylan Strome|
|4||Arizona Coyotes||Mitch Marner|
|5||Carolina Hurricanes||Noah Hanifin|
|6||New Jersey Devils||Mathew Barzal|
|7||Philadelphia Flyers||Ivan Provorov|
|8||Columbus Blue Jackets||Zach Werenski|
|9||San Jose Sharks||Pavel Zacha|
|10||Colorado Avalanche||Mikko Raantanen|
|11||Florida Panthers||Lawson Crouse|
|12||Dallas Stars||Kyle Connor|
|13||Los Angeles Kings||Travis Konecny|
|14||Boston Bruins||Timo Meier|
|15||Calgary Flames||Jérémy Roy|
Jérémy Roy is the Flames' first pick in the N.H.L. Draft. This decision was pretty much unanimous by everyone on the Matchsticks and Gasoline staff as the obvious choice should he fall. Here are his numbers courtesy of the fantastic EliteProspects:
Roy was a point producing machine for the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the Q.M.J.H.L. and has produced at every level that he's played in. There's no reason to believe that that will cease once he reaches the professional level and if he had played more than 46 games this past season he likely would have gone higher. A questionable suspension saw him play fewer games than he should have.
Some will state that the scoring was a result of playing in a highly offensive league, but even after equivalency adjustments he was the highest point per game defenseman in this year's draft. Some will question his lack of size, but the Chicago Blackhawks just won the Stanley Cup as one of the smallest teams in the league for the third time in six seasons. He fills a huge position of need as a right handed shot from the point. He's also renowned for a solid two-way game.
And here is an interview and some footage of the Québécois standout:
Roy was the logical choice for the Flames at 15 in the mock draft. Hopefully he'll be there for them during the real thing. The Edmonton Oilers are on the board!