#16: Brett Kulak
Team: Stockton Heat/Calgary Flames
Drafted: 2012 #105 (4th Round)
Last Year Rank: #19
For the second straight season Brett Kulak cracked the Flames lineup out of training camp but he ended up being a healthy scratch more often than not. Kulak skated in 21 games with Calgary last season, posting three assists and a -3 rating. Kulak also played in 27 games for the Stockton Heat, scoring two goals and adding 12 assists.
Kulak has been widely regarded as the potential sixth defender for the Flames heading into this season, but he’ll have to outplay the likes of Oliver Kylington, Rasmus Andersson, and Matt Bartkowski in training camp. At 23 years of age, he still has a lot of development ahead of him, so who knows where his ceiling could be once he starts getting regular NHL action.
Another reason to look at keeping Kulak at the NHL level full time this year is that he now has to go through waivers should he sent down after being just an injury call up. As of August 10th, Kulak still finds himself without a contract for the upcoming season but he should be a cheap add and would complement the bottom pairing nicely.
Why Vegas chose to just take Engelland in the expansion draft instead of taking Kulak and then signing Engelland a week later, we’ll never know.