By: George Potter
The Calgary Flames have a long offseason ahead of them with multiple risky moves to make. It is up to General Manager Brad Treliving to make these moves for this upcoming 2022-23 season. Selecting draft picks is an important thing that Flames should do in the 2022 offseason. What is an extremely crucial piece for the Flames prospects should be a defenseman.
Offense and goaltending prospects do have their potential and have shown good impressions on their current assigned teams. Players like Dustin Wolf, Rory Kerins, Ilya Nikolayev are a couple of names to keep an eye out for the future of the franchise. The best way to move forward with these prospects is to let them develop throughout the system.
For now the Flames currently have enough players on offense with different styles of play. Therefore, It should be extremely important for the Flames to pick a defenseman as there are very little amount of prospects on defense. Therefore, it would be a good idea to select a defenseman in this year’s draft.
Despite having some good defense with Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev It still would be a top priority to select a defenseman. It would be important to get a defenseman with size and skill sets. The reason why size should be important is because the times the Flames were outplayed by a bigger team. Therefore, going for a defenseman would be extremely important going into this year’s draft.
Some of these players listed below are predicted in mock drafts to go in the first round. The Flames will be able to pick their player by the second round with the 59th pick in the draft. This means that they must choose wisely when the time comes if they are still available. However, they could be able to make trades with other teams to get a first round pick during the draft. It might not be a bad idea to get a trade with a first pick so that the flames would be able to pick the right defenseman.
Here are a few blue line options the Flames should look at in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Why should the Flames pick a defenseman like Owen Pickering is because of his style of play when it comes to handling the puck and his explosiveness. The 6’4” 180lbs 18-year-old has shown a lot in his early career when it comes to accomplishments in the WHL and in the IIHF U18 Tournament. This could be a key factor that could be used to help boost up the Flames defense line in the future. Most definitely a player that should be observed.
The big 6’5” Swiss born defenseman has been an absolute stunner within the SHL with Leksand. One of his biggest highlights of his career so far was contributing in the Championships Hockey League tournament. With the size and skills should have the Flames pay good attention to because Sam Consentino quoted him for his effectiveness.
“Uses size and reach effectively to defend. Puck skills and playmaking ability are improving, but there’s still a rawness in these areas,” Consentino said in his report
His play making abilities are incredibly talented and it shows on the ice. Therefore, if selected by the flames this would be a smart move as Bichsel could develop well in the professionals.
Despite being 6’1” Mintyukov has a unique style and has shown a dominant performance with scoring 62 points this OHL season. The Hockey Writers described his hockey IQ in his draft report as something that NHL teams should look at especially on his powerplay skills set. An offensive style defenseman like Mintyukov would be a great idea to pay attention to.
Size might be something to look at because he is a 6’7” defender. Described by LastWordonSports described as a player that ‘makes NHL scouts drool’. It would not be a bad idea to choose this player due to his skill set on defense seems to be extremely impressive as much as his skating. It would not be a bad idea because the big struggle the Flames have is that they are small so it would be important to size up.
The University of Minnesota Commit has shown good impressions in USHS-Minnnesota and was able to make team USA in the U18 IIHF Tournament. His playing style is compared to NHL stars such as Brent Burns and he shows a lot of great awareness of the offensive zone in addition to his defensive performance skills set are both considered exciting to watch by scouts.
There are a variety of good defenseman in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. As anything could happen in the draft fingers crossed if the Flames are able to pick up a good defenseman out of it.
The answers on what will the Flames do with this year’s draft is currently unknown as of now but this year’s draft could be extremely interesting. It will be a long and stressful one because there are many things to focus on for the future of the franchise to keep them more consistent at winning.