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Building the 2018-19 Calgary Flames

Looking at how this team was built

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Every top NHL team has followed a plan to become successful. Every rebuilding team lays out a plan with the hopes of becoming successful. Often teams end up deviating and not every plan looks exactly the same, but most start out with building from within and then adding complementary pieces later on.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the 2018-19 Calgary Flames came to be.

For clarification, I used every Flames player currently on the roster even if they haven’t played much such as ex) Mike Stone. I didn’t count guys who have spent time with the team this year such as Dillon Dube or Juuso Valimaki.

Overall Breakdown

It’s not a surprise that the largest percentile of current roster players comes from trading. Brad Treliving has been one of more active GM’s when it comes to making big deals to add to his team such as his Carolina blockbuster last summer. Here is the full list of players acquired via trade by the Flames and the year they were acquired:

  • Oscar Fantenberg, 2019
  • Elias Lindholm, 2018
  • Noah Hanifin, 2018
  • Dalton Prout, 2017
  • Travis Hamonic, 2017
  • Michael Stone, 2017
  • Mike Smith, 2017

The next highest percentile is the first round picks playing for the Flames. It’s worth noting that these are only the first round picks drafted by the Flames, and don’t include Hanifin or Lindholm for example. Here’s the complete list along with their draft year.

  • Matthew Tkachuk, 2016
  • Sam Bennett, 2014
  • Sean Monahan, 2013
  • Mark Jankowski, 2012
  • Mikael Backlund, 2007

Free Agents currently make up 17% of the Flames roster as well. They include:

  • Derek Ryan, 2018
  • James Neal, 2018
  • Austin Czarnik, 2018
  • Michael Frolik, 2015

Undrafted free agents feature two of the most notable Flames, including the captain:

  • David Rittich, 2016
  • Garnet Hathaway, 2013
  • Mark Giordano, 2008* (Came back from year in KHL)

Rounds 4-7 feature a superstar and show the importance of late round picks:

  • Andrew Mangiapane, 2015
  • Johnny Gaudreau, 2011
  • T.J. Brodie, 2008

Finally there’s Rounds 2-3 which feature a pair of Swedes but also shows the poor pick retention and drafting in these spots over the last decade or so.

  • Rasmus Andersson, 2015
  • Oliver Kylington 2015

Breakdown by Year

As is usually the case with most NHL teams, the majority of roster players have come around in the last few years. In fact, 17 of the 24 players on this roster entered the Flames organization during the Treliving era (May 2014-Present). Four players are leftover from the Feaster era (Jan 2011-Dec 2013) and three are from the Sutter era (2003-Dec 2010).

The four Feaster era players are: Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Johnny Gaudreau, and Garnet Hathaway although he joined during the limbo between Feaster and Treliving.

The three remaining Sutter players are: Mikael Backlund, T.J. Brodie, and Mark Giordano.

With the core of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk (soon), Mikael Backlund, Mark Giordano, and Noah Hanifin all locked up long term, the Flames are in good position now where they can focus on adding complimentary role players rather than aiming for superstars.

It took some time to build the Flames up to where they are today, but it’s so worth it now that they have a team that looks poised to contend well into the future.