Flames Draft Review

By William Charlton

The Calgary Flames had an interesting draft in 2002. They drafted at primarily Forward positions with 1 Goalie, and 2 defensemen being taken other then the 9 forwards taken. Interestingly enough the Flames for the second year in a row seem to have somewhat avoided taking players in the CHL – only Matthew Lombardi was taken form the CHL this year. Flames management state it is due to the best player available scenario, and that it is just coincidance. Another interesting note is that there is only three Canadians taken in this years draft – Lombardi, McElhinney, and Van Der Gulik. Of which only one will be in a Canadian location this coming season (Lombardi – likely in Saint John).

There was no real consistant attribute among all the prospects taken – some were work horses, some are deemed lazy, others are speedsters, and some are average or below average skaters. Some are Offensive whizs, while others are Defensive geniouses. It is however interesting to note that in this years Draft there were only a handful of players that contributed over 100 points in their respective leagues and teams. The Flames have two of those players in Van Der Gulik and Lombardi. Does this mean offensive help is on the way? Or is it just hopeful thinking? Will new Draftees like Nystrom, McConnell, and Artmenkov among others provide that help? Only time will tell.

The following is a recap of the draft and statements made by The Hockey News and other scouts as well as the Flames Management in regards to each prospect.

Eric Nystrom, LW – Like Eric’s Father Bob, Eric possesses a great work ethic that is among the most intense of any prospect in the draft. He is very quick and is great along the boards. He is a very stable player and hard to knowck off the puck. He is projected as becoming a power forward. This past season in Michigan he became only the second freshman to notch 4 points in one game (Mike Comrie was the other). In 32 games with Michigan he notched 15 goals, and added 9 assists for 24 points. He also played 7 games for team USA in the World junior Championships. He is a product of the Michagan based National Junior development program.

YearTeamLeagueGP GA PtsPIM
99-00USAU1769 8 18 2659
00-01USAU1866 15 17 32102
01-02MichCCHA32 159 2432
01-02USAWJC7 00 00

Brian McConnell, C – Another product form the USA National Junior development Program and friend of Flames First round pick Eric Nystrom. He is projected as a 2-way forward that like Eric Nystrom is a very hard worker. His main area of weakness is skating, which should be addressed at Boston University. He is viewed as a Leader both on the ice and off. His game is very well rounded in both ends of the rink, nothing overly spectacular, but everything solid. Interesting enough is at every level he has out produced his Friend and teammate for 2 of the last 3 seasons Eric Nystrom, yet was drafted a full round later.

YearTeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM
99-00USAU1764 1318 31 98
00-01USAU1862 1925 44 143
01-02BostonHE38 1115 26 58

Matthew Lombardi, C – With everyone talking about the Flames loss of Stoll, and the Oilers grabbing him up, there was surprisingly little talk of the reverse situation when the Flames took Lombardi, who the Oilers lost. It is Lombardi in the very same Championship game for the CHL, though losing the game outscored Stoll. Not only in the final championship game, but also throughout the season and playoffs. Lombardi has remained an elite scorer in the QMJHL, and it is very probable that he could end up playing in Saint John this coming season to provide some much needed scoring on the Farm. With 20 PP goals Matthew ranked among league leaders in that department, while ranking second in points in the QMJHL, something the Flames have had in rare supply – Offense in the prospect cupboard. Ranked second in playoff scoring in QMJHL.

YearTeamLeagueGP GA PtsPIM
98-99Vic.QMJHL47 6 10 16 8
98-99Vic. Playoffs 5 00 00
99-00Vic.QMJHL65 18 26 44 28
99-00Vic. Playoffs 6 00 06
00-01Vic.QMJHL72 28 39 67 66
00-01Vic.Playoffs 13 12 6 18 10
01-02VicQMJHL66 57 73 13070
01-02Vic.Playoffs 22 17 18 35 18

Yuri Artemenkov, F (4th round – 112th overall) – “He’s a skilled guy, a real good skater. He didn’t play on any of their national teams but was at their camps. ” – Ted Button

YearTeamLeagueGP GA PtsPIM
01-02Russ32 2418 4210

Jiri Cetkovsky,C (5th round 141st overall) – A big centerman (6-4) who needs to develop more physically. “He has a lot of physical development to do, He plays with some grit and he’s come a long way in the last couple of years.” – Mike Sands

YearTeamLeague GP GA PtsPIM
01-02ZilnCzech Jr 20 64 1032

Emanuel Peter, C (5th round – 142nd overall) – As far as this writer knows Emanuel is the First prospect in the Flames system to have developed in the Swiss league. “I think I can play physical, I’m not a scorer… not yet.” – Emanuel Peter. Ted Button seems impressed with Emanuel’s physical play “He’s a real strong kid with a big body, He’s a real plowhorse and he’s a guy who plays in the hard areas.” Emanuel has the chance to be the first Swiss born skater to become a regular in the NHL. Was the Captain of the under 18 team at the World Juniors. He is a leader on and off the ice, but many wonder about his determination.

YearTeamLeague GP G A Pts PIM
00-01UzwilSwitz Jr. 26 6 20 26 14
00-01SwitzWJC 7 3 1 4 4
01-02KlotenSwiss 39 1 7 8 14
01-02SwitzWJC 7 0 0 0 0

Victor Bobrov, F (5th round – 146th overall) – labeled as a typical Russian center. “His skating has a ways to go, but he’s a real smart, two way player.” – Mike Sands. Victor was one of several unranked prospects that the Flames took.

YearTeamLeagueGP GA PtsPIM
01-02CSKA Russia0 00 00

Kristofer Persson, RW (5th round – 159th overall) – The last of the four Flames fifth rounders, he is regarded as a sleeper pick. The two Flames scouts in scandanavia insisted on management taking Persson, they stated that no one knew of him or his potential. Was out with an illness for much of the season.

YearTeamLeague GP G A Pts PIM
99-00Björklöven Swe Jr 8 4 15 2
00-01ModoSwe Jr 16 8 311 4
01-02ModoSweden jr. 25 7 613 2

Curtis McElhinney, G ( 6th round) – Another unrated prospect by Central Scouting. Curtis had a great freshman year at Colorado College, and many expect him to be the starter this coming year. Also got an assist in the 9 games he played.

YearTeamLeagueGP GAA SO SAA% W-L-T
01-02Col.NCAA9 2.04 1 0.918 6-0-1

David Van der Gulik, RW ( 7th round – 206th overall) – Headed to Boston University where he will be playing along with Flames second rounder, Brian McConnell. “We feel he’s a guy who has a lot of good tools and he has a chance to develop them there” – Mike Sands. A good playmaker who can also put the puck in the net. Of the draft class of 2002, he is one of only a handful of players that managed to get 100 points or more in this, their draft year.

YearTeamLeagueGP GA PtsPIM
01-02Chilliwack BCHL56 3862 10090

Pierre Johnsson, D (7th round – 207th overall) – A defensive Defenseman who could eventually fill in depth on the blueline as the #5 or #6 man. “He plays a physical game, he competes and he has some character. His skating has a ways to go.” – Mike Sands

YearTeamLeague GP GA PtsPIM
00-01Farjestad Swe Jr 16 11 26
01-02Farjestad Swe Jr. 29 16 726

Jyri Marttinen, D (8th round – 238th overall) – He is the oldest Flames draftee, who will be 20 in September and there is a possibility of him making a training camp appearance this fall. He is seen as a late bloomer. “Nothing flashy, he just moves the puck up and keeps the game flowing” – Mike Sands

YearTeamLeague GP G A Pts PIM
99-00Jyvaskyla Fin Jr 3 0 0 0 2
00-01Jyvaskyla Fin 8 1 0 1 6
00-01Jyvaskyla Fin Jr. 40 2 8 10 73
00-01Jyvaskyla Jr Playoffs 61 1 2 6
01-02Jyvaskyla Fin 501 4 5 67
01-02Jyvaskyla Fin Jr 50 2 2 2
01-02 Jyvaskyla Jr. Playoff 10 0 0 0
01-02FinlandWJC 71 2 3 8