Here is a look at Calgary’s organizational needs and possible draft targets:
A team with just one pick in the top 100 will likely focus on bolstering a team need with the 16th pick as it will be difficult to do so with mid-rounders since the odds of them ever becoming significant contributors is low. Like other teams, however, the Flames won’t reach for a player if there is someone much higher on their board at another position.
All things being equal, Calgary is going to look at adding a defenceman, and if Recrutes’ draft list is anything like Calgary’s, there will be defencemen high on their list when their pick comes up at 16. I don’t expect more than four defencemen to be off the board after 15 selections, so at least two of Urho Vaakanainen, Timothy Liljegren, Conor Timmins, Juuso Valimaki and Erik Brannstrom will likely be available.
A club that had an attraction to Oliver Kylington may also think Liljegren is the cat’s meow as he’s essentially a more skilled version of his fellow Swede. If the pair ever reached their full potential they would add lots of mobility to Calgary’s back end as well as some offensive potential. Vaakanainen is the safer pick and a good bet to develop into a top three or four on Calgary’s blueline…the same goes for Timmins, and Valimaki may also be a good fit as the Flames could use a future powerplay general.
If they’re in a gambling mood and not worried about size…Brannstrom may be a target. The other possibility would be Cal Foote, and if Brian Burke has any say (and that’s usually the case), he’ll likely be banging the table for the big blueliner even if his offensive upside at the NHL level may be limited.
The other possibilty is that a forward Calgary has in its top ten drops to 16 and GM Brad Treliving can’t resist pulling the trigger. Elias Pettersson, Owen Tippett, Nick Suzuki, Martin Necas, Robert Thomas and Casey Mittelstadt are the forwards who are most likely to fall into that category…certainly if Mittelstadt falls to 16, Calgary will think long and hard about passing on more pressing team needs and select the center.
At 109 it is anybody’s guess who Calgary considers…the best best is that it’s a defenceman who dropped on their list…perhaps one of the blueliners in the USNTDP program. I would expect the Flames to take at least two defencemen in this draft, but with just one high pick it will be tough to add more than one who will have a significant impact.