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Canada, AB • Canada • 23 Years Old • Male
The Olli Jokinen to Calgary talks have been going on for years now, and seem to come into conversations more than a pregnant woman changes her cravings. However, look at the current number one centres in the league and how they were landed by their teams.

And I'm just pulling some out of the air here, so bear with me.

Vincent Lecavalier - 6'4", 219 - Drafted by the Tampa Bay Lighting
Jason Spezza - 6'3", 209 - Drafted by the Ottawa Senators
Ryan Getzlaf - 6'3", 211 - Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks
Anze Kopitar - 6'4", 220 - Drafted by the Los Angeles Kings

Notice a pattern? The majority of number one centres aren't aquired through trades, but rather through drafting, even though some of them are plain obvious.

Forget Olli Jokinen, sign Daymond Langkow and keep him around and let a player with the size and the skill set develop into the Number One guy that's apparently needed in Calgary.

I've been looking at players that might be available around the spot we're picking, and I've come up with a couple of options.

Evgeny Grachev - 6'3", 193 - Currently playing in Russia

Grachev certainly has the size, and just needs to fill out a little more to keep from being pushed around. At this years World Juniors tournament, he had 5 points in 6 games.

Greg Nemisz - 6'3", 200 - Currently playing in Windsor in the OHL

Has the size. 67 points in 66 games this season, and the Spitfires weren't really a powerhouse either. Contributed well from the second line in Windsor. Some scouts compare him to a young Jeff Carter.

Anton Gustaffson - 6'2", 190 - Currently playing in Sweden

Doesn't quite have the size of other players, but has been looked at in depth by some teams already. Decent skater for his size, and apparently pretty good hockey vision.

Those are three players that I wouldn't mind grabbing with our first round pick.

Later round picks could even follow the same suit, with looking for a center with size and skill.

Tomas Knotek - 6'1", 163 (Weight is alarming, I agree)
Marek Viedensky - 6'3", 187
James Wright - 6'2", 180
Michael Pelech - 6'2", 202

Probably will all go 3rd round or later.
May 13, 2008 12:56 PM ET | Delete
I agree with you on this. The draft this year is going to be absolutely crucial for the Flames, and they need some top six forwards fast, especially centers. The only thing I'd like to point out: Spezza, Vinny and Getzlaf were all top 10 picks were they not? Of those three I could see the Flames picking the Nemisz kid if he's available...
May 13, 2008 4:25 PM ET | Delete
I think the flames hoped to address that with Backlund last summer, he was the number two european prospect behind Cherepanov and very highly regarded with more points at the worl juniors than the russian you mentioned. Personally I think drafting a top flight left winger would be a great idea since the Flames tend to draft anything but wingers. David Toews is projected to go late first round and has 36 goals and 85 points is 46 games, added to that is the buzz drafting a name like that would bring. Thanks for bringing up the future though I'm tired of thinking about the early exit.
May 13, 2008 6:49 PM ET | Delete
not to say that drafting your own talent isnt a good idea or the best way to go,,,all 3 of those guys u mentioned could become busts, while we know Jokinen is the real deal.he's considered elite even playing in the shadows in Florida with a mediocre team year after year..can u say 6'3" and 215??
May 13, 2008 7:28 PM ET | Delete
The problem is that there is very little probability, IMO, that Jokinen will actually get traded, and even if he were to be traded I'm not sure Sutter would be willing to pay the king's ransom. Also, I'm assuming David Toews is related to Jonathan? As long as he's not a bust like Dan Ryder turned out to be that would be a good pick....more forwards, and by that i mean top six, less "rugged" d-men and goalies...
May 14, 2008 11:16 AM ET | Delete
HUGEBITCH77...That's a pretty hilarious name by the way, I agree with S Kaspar, if this was going to happen it would have happened by now and I agree with fahqall (another hilarious name) that we HAVE to start drafting better, another pluggers and grinders draft should mean those guys get fired. Your point regarding the draft is true, you just never really KNOW that they will do well but hopefully you get one or two that are 90%!
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