With a smile the cheshire cat would be envious of, Brent Krahn stood in front of a roaring crowd at the Saddle Dome with the confidence of a stanley cup veteran, and absorbed the moment he had been waiting for since he was a child living in the province Manitoba.
Ranked 1st among goaltenders in North America on the Central Scouting Mid-Term Report and he stayed that way until the final rankings. He was named the Hitmen’s Rookie of the year and earned WHL Goaltender of the month honors for the Eastern Conference in October. Brent’s performance in the Top Prospect game was nothing less than spectacular and showed he can raise his level of play in big games and can single handedly take over and dominate a game. With another year with the Hitmen and possibly one season in Saint John he could take the position of the number one guy in the year 2002. His concentration and focus are beyond his experience level and he never seems to get rattled or distracted by the traffic around him or when he has been scored against, he shows a similar demeanor to Grant Fuhr in that respect. Although he is a big kid his lateral movement and agility is exceptionally good, he takes advantage of his size in the crease and can be intimidating when players are in close and Brent should not have a problem at all with players trying to crash the net as they may get a rude awaking when they do.
With Calgary staying put in the ninth overall position, Mckenzie and the crew select Hitmen goaltender Brent Krahn. To the delight of the hometown crowd Krahn will be an integral part of the Flames franchise for years to come. Krahn had an outstanding season for the Hitmen recording 33 wins 6 losses 4 shutouts and a goals against average of 2.38 in 39 games. He’s a big man at 6’4″ 200lbs, somewhat a stand-up goaltender with an unbelievable glove hand. With his size he’s become a very good positional player, one thing he may need to work on his speed outside of the crease.
When asked about moving across the hallway to the Flames room Krahn replied, “Its really exciting. Calgary is a great city. I love the people here. I was extremely ecstatic when I got chosen. I can’t wait till training camp. Its unbelievable. Words can’t describe it.”
With Brathwaite and newly acquired Mike Vernon in the crease for Calgary, Krahn will learn and grow into a top goaltender in the NHL for years to come. Good job Mr. Mckenzie.
Calgary’s second round pick, 40th overall, nabbed a huge defenceman from the Peterborough Petes, Kurtis Foster. At 6’5″ 205 lbs, Foster boasts an excellent shot and great puck handling skills, as well as an excellent hockey sense on the ice. An upright skater with adequate mobility… a very steady and reliable defenseman. His size gives him the ability to utilize a very effective poke check. Foster is an excellent choice, lets hope his tenacity compares to his size.
Decisions, decisions, with only a few days left until the draft in Calgary the Flames have some BIG decisions to make. If the Flames opt to stay put at the ninth position, they must fill one of two of their long term needs, a goaltender or a strong impact forward capable of scoring 30+ goals. The players most likely to be around at the ninth pick are the three Russians, “C” Mikhail Yakubov, “RW” Pavel Vorobiev, “LW” Alexei Smirnov, a Czech “C” Vaclav Nedorost, and Canadian “G” Brett Krahn. With Calgary having 3 picks in the first two rounds they will be able to satisfy both needs whether they pick a goalie first or a scoring forward, there are a few solid players in the second round, “G” J.F Racine,”G” Peter Hamerlik, “LW” Max Birbraer,”C” Shane Endicott. And a host of other solid centermen.
However, the Flames may also want to trade up in the draft. 1st overall seems to be up for grabs according to Mike Milbury. With the draft here in Calgary, the Flames might want to make a little noise, giving up some youth and a pick for the Calgary man Dany Heatly. Giving up their ninth pick, possibly a second round pick, as well as Rico Fata, or Oleg Saprykin for the right to choose first overall. Fata would be the most likely to be traded, he is a right-winger and Calgary is very solid on that side of the ice.
The Calgary Flames have answered a few questions in regards to which of their second-ranked prospect group will be getting a good shot to make the team with the release of their expansion draft protected list on Tuesday. However they may have raised more questions at the same time.
As little as five days ago the general assumption was that the Flames would protect two goaltenders, Fred Brathwaite and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The surprise trade of Giguere to Anaheim was the first in new GM Craig Button’s administration and has many people scratching their heads. Very few people are outraged at the move but it has left many wondering what the team is up to. Giguere, ranked Calgary’s top prospect for much of the last two years, has neither been a disappointment nor good enough to change the “goalie of the future” designation to the “goalie of the present”. Despite that, the situation seemed perfect this year, Freddie was the number one and Giguere would be the season-long understudy. Button said that he made the trade because he did not want to lose a good fourth defenseman and eighth forward.
The choice of Craig Button as the new general manager was one of the most well thought out decisions made by the Flames organization in a long time. His strong player personnel abilities are what Calgary needs because of their inability to spend copious amounts of money in the free agent market. Words have been chosen carefully by this man when he speaks to the public. He refuses to use words such as small market and financial restraint while saying that his team will be competitive through attention to detail and a positive attitude toward their future endeavors.