Flames 2005 draft preview

By Iaian Park

Flames Top 10 Prospects

1.Dion Phaneuf, D
2.Kris Chucko, LW
3.Tim Ramholt, D
4.Brent Krahn, G
5.Dustin Boyd, C
6.Eric Nystrom, LW
7.Jamie Tardiff, RW
8.Yuri Trubachev, C
9.Aki Seitsonen, C
10.Brandon Prust, LW

Team Needs

Even after the lockout, the Calgary Flames still need to address the same issue that plagued them before the last draft — adding an elite level goal scorer that can complement Jarome Iginla. The Flames added some safe, solid depth players up front in the 2004 draft but did not address the issue of a pure goal scoring talent that can play this fall.

The Flames will continue to be strong on the backend in 2004-05. Top defensive prospect Dion Phaneuf will join the team as a rookie.

With Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes and Brent Krahn posting 20 wins with a 2.49 GAA in Lowell this year, Calgary looks to be set in net. Kiprusoff will need to be re-signed this summer.

Organizational Strengths

The addition of winger Kris Chucko in the 2004 draft has helped the Flames address the lack of depth up front, but he is still a couple of years away from being NHL ready. Center Dustin Boyd, who posted his best junior season to date, may be getting his midget scoring touch back but the jury is still out if he can bring it to the pro level. Chucko and Boyd, along with Brandon Prust, Eric Nystrom all fit the mold of the gritty, hard-working forwards that GM Darryl Sutter has identified as his focus for the organization. Work ethic and heart can be counted as organizational strengths themselves.

Organizational Weaknesses

The biggest need right now is the addition of an elite level goal scorer. The addition of Daymond Langkow, a 20-goal scorer the past three seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, will help the Flames in the short-term, but they need to add more goal-scoring talent in the pipeline.

After Phaneuf and Tim Ramholt join the club, things get a little thin on the blueline with Richie Regehr and Brennan Evans being the only two defensemen in the Flames top 20 prospects. The club will have to consider adding a top talent on the blueline somewhere down the road in order to fill the upcoming void that will be left when their top two talents move up to the pro level.

Brent Krahn is the top goalie prospect for the organization and the jury is still out on whether he could be a starter in the NHL. He may see backup duty this season, since Roman Turek will remain in Europe.

Draft Tendencies

The Flames, under Sutter in his third draft in 2004, acquired a lot of players known as grinding, two-way players with heart. With the exception of center Aki Seitsonen (fourth round) and right wing Fred Wikner (sixth round), every other player was a North American born player.

The obvious tendency with Calgary right now is to add character and grit to their organization with an emphasis on North American players. True to his word Darryl Sutter is building the Flames exactly as he said that he would and has proven it in the last three drafts.

The Flames have drawn the 26th overall selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, but like other teams with late first round picks, won’t benefit from the snaking aspect as they have traded their second round pick to San Jose. Calgary currently owns five picks, missing also their sixth rounder.

Player most likely to be taken with first selection (Hockey’s Future mock draft result):
Dan Bertram, RW, Boston College.

Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.