With five picks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Flames selected four forwards and one defenseman. The 16th overall pick, Juuso Vallimaki, is getting a lot of attention - and deservingly so. Vallimaki is making a name for himself in the WHL as a defenseman with strong offensive abilities. In this past season he scored 19 goals and tallied 42 assists for a total of 61 points in 60 games played.
It is exciting that Vallimaki will be a part of the C of Red, but he is not the only strong player the Flames selected this year.
Adam Ruzicka - Drafted in the fourth round, #109 overall.
Hailing from Slovakia, Ruzicka is a big body who likes to score. At 6 feet 4 inches, Ruzicka is an accurate shooter with a strong wrist shot.
The 2016-17 season was his first in the OHL, playing for the Sarnia Sting. In his rookie season, he scored an impressive 25 goals and 21 assists for a total of 46 points in 61 games. A majority of his goals come from the top of the circles or down low in front of the net with a sniper like wrist shot.
Ruzicka knows how to set up other players while also getting into scoring position anywhere below the blue line. He is definitely someone to watch out for in professional hockey in upcoming seasons.
Zach Fischer - Drafted in the fifth round, #140 overall.
Fischer currently plays for the Medicine Hat Tigers. Standing 6 feet 2 inches tall, the right winger has shown off his gritty playing style and his determination Fischer has racked up quite a few penalty minutes throughout his time in the WHL, 145 last season alone. The kid really likes to fight, and he’s pretty good at it. hockeyfights.com has a lot of his highlights; he has an impressive 18 fights to watch there. Fischer likes to make his presence known with strong hits and standing up for his teammates.
Fighting aside, Fischer has shown great improvement in his offensive scoring ability. In the 2016-17 season, he scored 34 goals and assisted on 29 for a total of 63 points. He is a bit older than many selected in the draft as a 1997 birth year, but the Canadian forward still shows a lot of promise.
D’Artagnan Joly - Drafted in the sixth round, #171 overall.
Joly currently plays for Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL. He is 6 feet 3 inches tall and knows how to use his size to his advantage. Joly likes to use his size down low and gets open in front of the net. He has a strong hockey sense and seems to always know where the puck is going, leading him to intercept opposing team passes and get the puck moving in the right direction.
Joly is fast and fun to watch, and passionate about the sport. In the 2016-17 season, he scored 16 goals and assisted on 32 for a total of 48 points in 66 games. Joly is a strong and safe pick in the draft, it may be a few seasons before we see him playing consistently in the Flames organization.