Many different opinions circled around after the Flames draft. Was it underwhelming? Was it a success? A failure? Did the Flames only draft on size? Why a Goalie?
The reality is that despite our individual opinions, these kids are Flames now. So lets look at them and make some comments.
I obviously watched the videos and read all of the scouting reports but I still have a hard time thinking of some comparable current or former players that match his skill level, style, size and points at draft time. I put it out to the twitter world and got a couple of decent responses. We had already heard the “poor man Toews” line about him but does that really do him justice? It makes him sound second rate and he’s not. We’ve heard Mike Richards but it’s generally believed he is slightly more talented than him as well.
That’s Offside had this on his twitter after comparing stats like Points per game, league and age:
Sam Bennett: 1. Bobby Ryan 2. Tyler Seguin 3. Sean Couturier 4. Ryan Strome 5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
— Rhys J (@Thats_Offside) June 10, 2014"
I also got responses from @snowdenNHL who responded “Roenick” when I inquired who would be a talented 6’0 center that played chippy and rough. I thought it was a great NHL player that we could really look at and say, “he’s that type.”. My idea was a 6’0 Theo Fleury. Anyway, this was amassive pick for the Flames, they need guys like this to win a cup. You need a big Center like Monahan and a two way guy like Bennett to give you that one two punch. Monahan is no slouch in the defensive zone either.
Playing stats weren’t great but he was the Goalie of the tournament at the U18’s. He was the second ranked goalie in the draft and the first to be picked. The only question about drafting revolved around him being the 34th overall when very good prospects, especially on D were available. As I mentioned, he’s a Flames now so let’s just worry about that.
He’s a tall goalie, as they all are now, at 6’4”. He lanky and quick with a southpaw glove. The reports on him were that he has all the tools to be a starter in 5-6 years but needs to correct some fundamentals. This is something that can be coached and hopefully he progresses. Canadian goalies are in short supply these days so from a national point he may be a consideration at the juniors. All in all he’s a project with great upside.
Big. 6’6” 220 lbs 19 year old. Controversy around this pick as this is his second year of eligibility. In his first two years he has a goal and an assist in 45 games total. This was his first full year and achieved a lot of improvement at 16 goals, 24 assists, 100 pims in 64 games. He is slated to be the top line RW next year in Oshawa. The issue is that in his second year you’d hope a behemoth like this was scoring at will. The Flames are banking on his having a big year this year to justify the pick. There was a lot of interest in him at the draft based mostly on his size but noted improvement as well. The Flames are hoping they drafted Lucic 2.0.
Boston University will be getting a really good skating Defenseman with decent size in Brandon Hickey. The reports on him all were positive but not explosive. He has the tools to be a well rounded D. He had 16 points in 33 games in the AJHL so he doesn’t blow the doors off offensively but can put the puck in the net. The Flames will be hoping the college route in Boston will spit out a more progressed player. Fans won’t see him here for a few years at least though as is typical with college players.
Adam Ollas Mattsson:
At 6’4” and 215 lbs it is no surprise the Flames went after Adam. He has a very high compete level but is more of a stay at home type. Again I think the Flames would hope for him to turn into a Regehr style player, he will need to work on skating apparently but that is very common at players of this age, even the top rated ones.
At this point the scouts are tired, Burkes tie is undone, Conroy only has a half smile. Who to draft with the last pick? How about 6’3” 215 lbs Austin Carroll from the Victoria Royals (who also plays with 6’6” Keegan Kanzig). He had 34 goals and 23 assists so he’s not a talentless goon. However he is another older draft eligible player so you’d hope with that size he could power more points in. Interesting that his hometown was Scotsdale, maybe Treliving saw him when he was younger? Who knows but at least at the prospects tourney they won’t be pushed around.
Bollig being a Flame isn’t bad by itself, the guy hits anything moving on the ice and often hits the boards trying if he doesn’t. He’s a great fourth line banger. The issue being the Flames are full of these types. They only need to have one back up of these guys so I think Van Brabent goes or Westgarth doesn’t get re-signed.
Gilbert is being courted by the Flames apparently. This would be a great signing, the Flames do need at least one more very good D to come in this year. Erhoff, Gilbert will both be heavily sought after so the only card Calgary can play is the money card. It’ll be an ugly contract, so be prepared.
Reimer is being rumored to the Flames as well. Ramo put up pretty good numbers last year, maybe they was to have two 1A type goalies though. The Flames will not be giving up too many picks for next years draft though.
RFA’s- Paul Byron played well for the Flames and will find a home but they only want one small player this year… (hint played his nickname is “hockey”). Colborne, Bouma and possibly Ortio will likely be on the roster next year. Billins and Cundari likely in the A.