While by far the most significant thing that the Calgary Flames did today was round out their top-4 defense group by acquiring Travis Hamonic, they still participated in the draft part of the NHL Draft.
The club was sitting for awhile on day 2, as their second and third round picks were used in the Curtis Lazar and Michael Stone deals. However, the Flames still added 4 new players to the organization through today’s draft. Here is a quick look at them.
Round 4, 109th Overall
C Adam Ruzicka, Sarnia (OHL) 6’4”, 202 LBS
61 GP, 25 G, 21 A, 46 PTS, 30 PIM, -15
Thoughts: A big Slovakian centre who just played his first year in North America. He has the size that the Flames are obviously hoping to bolster their roster with, but did not put up crazy numbers by any means, finishing well under a point-a-game. He has a lot of tools though, so the Flames are obviously hoping he can continue to develop in the following years. Could be a solid depth forward one day.
Here is what Future Considerations had to say on him:
“A big bodied center that can be a beast on skates… a prototypical power forward frame, excellent puck control…has good puck skills…loves to control the puck on his stick carrying it with a calm confidence…very strong and with his impressive reach is almost impossible to knock off the puck when he wants to keep possession…not the most explosive skater and often seems to float around, but his top speed is real solid and he is near to impossible to stop once in full motion…creating chances for his teammates with skilled passes…has a really hard slap shot and accurate wrister…uses his body along the boards and throws some big hits…loves to create offense with his speed, hands and hockey sense…needs to cut down on the fly-bys and implement more starting and stopping on the puck to become more effective… battles for the pucks, plays responsibly in the defensive zone…has some definite room to grow in his play but could be a real stud once he reaches his full potential” - Future Considerations
Round 5, 140th Overall
RW Zach Fischer, Medicine Hat (WHL) 6’2”, 207 LBS
62 GP, 34 G, 29 A, 63 PTS, 145 PIM, +10
Thoughts: An overaged player, who was going through his second NHL Draft. This pick reminds me a bit of the Hunter Smith selection in 2014, picking an overaged player who has the size and willingness to brawl, but also possesses a scoring touch. Unlike the Smith pick, this was not a second rounder and Fischer actually produced at a much higher rate, so this is not actually a terrible selection.
He had a big jump in production from his previous season where he had just 13 points in 35 games. His penalty total last season was only 15 as well, so it seems like he really stepped up on that aspect of his game this season.
He does not really project to be an NHLer at this point in time, but you could definitely see him fitting somewhere in the organization at the pro level. Watching YouTube footage of his fights though, he is fairly impressive in that regard.
Round 6, 171st Overall
RW D’Artagan Joly, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) 6’3”, 181 LBS
66 GP, 16 G, 32 A, 48 PTS, 35 PIM, -10
Thoughts: First of all, what a name. In terms of his actual hockey ability, Joly is an interesting prospect. He had good size and put up a decent amount of points this season, playing on a very bad team. He’s a speedy player that is more of a playmaker and has some of the tools to be a power forward.
I like this pick a fair bit for this point in the draft.
Round 7, 202nd Overall
LW Filip Sveningsson, HV71 (Swe Jr.) 6’0, 180 LBS
37 GP, 15 G, 14 A, 29 PTS, 59 PIM, -2
Thoughts: A skilled player who was quite productive in the Swedish Junior League this season. He seems like a good skater but also put up 59 PIMs so he has a bit of aggression to his game. He will be able to develop in Sweden for awhile and has interesting attributes, so this seems like a reasonable bet to take with a 7th rounder.
After drafting a very good defense prospect last night and landing Travis Hamonic today, the Flames went strictly after forwards with their 4 picks today. Unlike the past couple of seasons where they snagged small forwards with great upside, all these players have size and none of them produced at a particularly impressive rate.
At a first glance, I would not really bank on any of these players becoming future impact Calgary Flames, such is the case when you do not have second or third round picks. However, sometimes a player’s development curve can surprise, maybe the Flames have found themselves a player today that can have a significant impact down the road. Adam Ruzicka has a lot of tools, it will be worth monitoring how he progresses.
However, between Valimaki and Hamonic joining the organization this weekend, the Flames have significantly upgraded their defense both now and in the future. At such a premium position, that is a very exciting proposition.