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The 2013 NHL Entry Draft was probably the single most important draft in the history of the Calgary Flames franchise. Flames brask has made it clear they intend to rebuild the team properly and made the promise to fans they would draft the 'Best Player Available' in order to fulfill the needs of the organization. Did Jay Feaster and company live up to their promise to fans? Let's take a look pick by pick on who the Flames picked and on who they should've picked:
First round, 6th overall — Flames’ own pick
Who they picked: C Sean Monahan
Who they should've picked: C Sean Monahan
Analysis: Feaster came out of the gate properly in the 1st round and chose the big 2-way center Monahan exactly as he shoud've. With comparisons to Eric Staal and Jonathan Toews this pick is definitely a good start to the rebuild.
First round, 22nd — From St. Louis in D Jay Bouwmeester trade
Who they picked: LW Emile Poirier
Who they should've picked: C/LW Hunter Shinkaruk
Analysis: Although Poirier does have some potential he is more of a project and definitely not worthy of a 22nd pick. The best player available who happened to be a hometown Calgary kid was Hunter Shinkaruk. Shinkaruk is a gifted sniper who draws comparisons to Zach Parise. He would've fulfilled the Flames need to add skill/scoring ability and he also has the ability to play both Center and the Wing. This pick was a huge fail by the Flames scouting department.
First round, 28th — From Pittsburgh in RW Jarome Iginla trade
Who they picked: LW Morgan Klimchuk
Who they should've picked: C Nic Petan
Analysis: Morgan Klimchuk is described as a player good at everything but not great at anything. He will no doubt make a decent Pro but more than likely as a 3rd line utility type of player. Once again the Flames had the opportunity to add skill and speed to their roster in the form of Nic Petan. Although he stands only 5'8 he has great speed and offensive ability which bodes well in today's NHL. Feaster again failed to live up to promises on this pick but not adding skill to the Flames.
Second round, 37th — To Montreal in LW Michael Cammalleri trade
Who Montreal picked: Montreal chose the best goalie available in the draft, Zach Furcale with this pick. This should be self-explanatotry enough why you don't throw away 2nd picks (which the Flames have been doing for a decade now).
Third round, 67th — Flames’ own pick
Who they picked: D Keegan Kanzig
Who they should've picked: C/LW Tayor Cammarata
Analysis: For the only pick the Flames owned from pick 29-135, this one is an absolute head scratcher. Yes Kanzig stands 6'7 and weighs in at 241 lbs, but he was ranked 192nd amongst NA skaters. He had 0 goals, 7 assists and 129PIM last season in the WHL. It's probably a safe bet to assume he would've been available in the 5th, 6th or even 7th around. The Flames should've chosen Cammarata who by all accounts probably would've been a late 1st or early 2nd round pick if it weren't for his 5'7 stature. He broke USHL scoring records last season and could turn out to be one of the best steals of this draft by the Islanders who took him at 76.
Fourth round, 97th — To Florida in C Corban Knight trade
Who Florida picked: Florida chose D Michael Downing. Getting Corban Knight for a 4th in which Feaster would've chose who knows who is a win for the Flames.
Fifth round, 127th — To Washington in D Dennis Wideman trade
Who Washington picked: This pick was traded to the Jets who chose D Tucker Poolman. Only time can really tell how these picks work out but the Flames have the veteran Dennis Wideman in their lineup for several years (barring a trade) so this is a win for the Flames.
Fifth round, 135th — From Columbus in RW Blake Comeau trade
Who they picked: D Eric Roy
Who they should've picked: D Eric Roy
Analysis: Chosing Eric Roy in the 5th round could turn out to be the steal of the 5th round from this draft. He's an offensive defenceman who played in the shadow of Ryan Pulock this past season. He needs to work on his skating and defensive aspects of his game but having him fall to 5th is an absolute steal. If the Flames had have picked him in the 3rd round with their 67th pick it still would've been a good pick.
Sixth round, 157th — Flames’ own pick
Who they picked: RW Tim Harrison
Who they should've picked: RW Tim Harrison
Analysis: Tim Harrison is a realtively unknown player but a quick look at his numbers this past season, along with his size it's a good project pick for he Flames. This will be a long term project that may take 4-5 years before there is any return but with a 6th round pick and the fact the Flames had 8 picks in this draft, I like this pick.
Seventh round, 187th — Flames’ own pick
Who they picked: D Rushan Rufikov
Who they should've picked: D MacKenzie Weegar
Analysis: As a 7th round pick this pick is usually deemed a 'long shot' to have any impact in the NHL. The Flames chose a stay at home Russian defenceman (the first Russian chosen by the Flames since 2002) who will most likely never cross the pond to play NA hockey. Weegar is a dependable defenceman coming off of a Memorial Cup win with the Halifax Mooseheads. He is very raw but has great upside and would be a motivated player coming off of such an amazing junior season. He was taken with the 206th pick by Florida.
Seventh round, 198th — From Chicago in G Henrik Karlsson trade
Who they picked: D John Gilmour
Who they should've picked: D Tyler Lewington
Analysis: Again as a 7th round pick it's low risk, high reward but why not make it count? The Flames chose John Gilmour who will play along with fellow Flames prospects Mark Jankowski and Jon Gillies. For this reason alone I can see why they would draft Gilmour. He will also be a long term project. The Flames being a Western team have more visibility into the WHL than most teams so why not take a player you know may make a difference? Tyler Lewington who played on a medicore Medicine Hat club last season put up good offensive numbers and took care of his own zone. He was taken with the 204th pick by Washington.
Overall, Jay Feaster, Tod Button and did an 'OK' job at this year's draft but for the reasons I mention above didn't keep up on their promise to add the best player available at each pick. Like any draft it will take years to fully analyze and break down each pick. For the time being though, the Flames management look like they may have missed the mark on some of the opportunities they were presented with on the draft floor on June 30th. Only time will tell.
As always thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments!