Follow me on Twitter @flamesfan1981 and please note I will be Tweeting LIVE FROM THE PRUDENTIAL CENTER at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft!
Thanks to the Flames partial fire-sale during the season, they are in a unique position of owning three 1st round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft taking place in New Jersey. The draft is deemed by many scouts and hockey experts to be the deepest draft since the 2005 draft.
While this is music to the ears of Flames fans it has to make Flames scouts a little nervous. They have to, and I emphasize "HAVE TO" get all 3 picks perfect this year. The scouting team led by Todd Button better get this right or the next round of changes in the Flames organization won't be fire sale of the players. Feaster has no room to get cute this year and take a high school kid nobody has heard of (queue Jankowski in 2012).
So let's look at the best case scenarios for Flames.
Towards the end of the regular season I'm sure all Flames fans, like myself, were in the awkward position of still cheering for our team but at the same time hoping the team tanks completely to get a shot at the "big 3". To this same tune, these same fans are probably hoping Feaster has some magic tricks up his sleeve that will see the Flames trade their 6th pick and one of their other 1st round picks to obtain one of MacKinnon, Jones or Drouin. This would be the dream scenario for any Flames fan.
More realistically the Flames are more likely to obtain all three of their
1st round picks. Let's list 4 players at each pick who the Flames would be best suited to draft based on organizational needs. This is all based on the assumption one of them would be available:
The Calgary Pick (Need a center):
Aleksander Barkov - Big Finnish Center who is arguably 2nd best Center in the draft.
Valeri Nichushkin - Powerful Russian forward who has declared he will be coming to North America. Some scouts compare him to a mix of Malkin and Ovechkin.
Sean Monahan - Arguably one of the most NHL draft ready picks and a solid 2-way center
Elias Lindholm - Skilled Swedish Center who is a teenager playing amongst men in Sweden
The St. Louis pick:
Max Domi - Small skilled Center with great speed and playmaking abilities. Well built and can play the physical game.
Bo Horvat - Small but stock/solid player. Very skilled Center. Excellent playmaker and excellent vision on the ice. 2 way player.
Ryan Pulock - Well rounded offensive D-man who is also a good open ice hitter
Josh Morrissey - Smooth skating, puck moving defenceman who is high risk, high reward
The Pittsburgh pick:
Kerby Rychel - One of the best shots in the draft, is an excellent finisher when he's playing with the right playmaker. Good hockey sense.
JT Compher - Skilled Center with excellent hockey sense. Agitator with an outstanding work ethic. Speedy and great playmaking abilities.
Nic Petan - Small but speedy and skilled Center. Excellent playmaking ability and hockey sense.
Zach Furcale - Best Goalie available in the draft.