Unless you live under a rock, you’re aware that the Calgary Flames aren’t necessarily the best drafting NHL team out there. With that being said, we’ll go back in time, up to five years ago, and point out who the Flames should have drafted with their first pick instead of who they actually did. Enjoy.
2012 Selection 21st Overall: Mark Jankowski - Stanstead College [MPHL] (54gp, 50g, 37a)
Who the Flames should have selected: It’s hard to already critique this pick because it’s intended to be a project. Jankowski isn’t going to be in the NHL for a few years but he’s definitely a solid player. Instead of trading picks with Buffalo, Calgary should have kept their 14th overall pick and selected Teuvo Teravainen who was selected 18th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
2011 Selection 13th Overall: Sven Baertschi - Portland Winterhawks [WHL] (47gp, 33g, 61a)
Who the Flames should have selected: Let’s hope Sven will crack back into the NHL roster for next season but it’s a no-brainer for who the Flames should have taken along with 29 other teams. In fact, the Flames had 4 chances to take this guy. Andrew Shaw, who played juniors for the Owen Sound Attack, was drafted in the 5th round and is a great center for the Blackhawks. He has 34 points in 72 games for Chicago over the coarse of 2 seasons.
2010 Selection 64th Overall: Max Reinhart - Kootenay Ice [WHL] (61gp, 28g, 50a)
Who the Flames should have selected: With no picks through the first two rounds, it was a tough draft year for the Flames. Reinhart is currently in the AHL, averaging way less than a point per game and will never make it to the NHL. From the Vancouver Giants, the Flames should have selected Brendan Gallagher, who was instead snatched up by Montreal in the 5th round. This guy is now a regular in the Canadiens’ lineup and has 21 points thus far in the season.
2009 Selection 23rd Overall: Tim Erixon - Skelleftea HC [SEL] (45gp, 2g, 5a)
Who the Flames should have selected: This guy was actually projected to be one of the best defensemen in the draft. When the Flames heard that, they failed to sign the future star and the New York Rangers quickly signed him instead. He was shipped to Columbus in the Nash deal and currently has 0 goals and 5 assists this season for Columbus. Instead of Erixon, Calgary should have taken Ryan O’Reilly who was drafted in the 2nd round by Colorado. O’Reilly has 13 points in 17 games so far for the Avalanche.
2008 Selection 25th Overall: Greg Nemisz - Windsor Spitfirs [OHL] (68gp, 34g, 33a)
Who the Flames should have selected: This was an absolute failure by Sutter. Take your pick from either Derek Stepan (Rangers), Tyler Ennis (Sabres), John Carlson (Capitals), Adam Henrique (Devils) or Cam Atkinson (Blue Jackets). Looking at this list of available players makes me want to cry. Nemisz has a miserable 9 points in 49 games so far in the AHL this season.
2007 Selection 24th Overall: Mikael Backlund - Västerås [Swe-1] (18gp, 1g, 2a)
Who the Flames should have selected: While Backlund was one of the best selections by Calgary yet, they could have done better. Jamie Benn, who was taken by Dallas in round 5, is a first line center for the Stars and has 185 career NHL points in 251 games played.
If the Flames would have selected the players from above, the lines would have looked something like this.
Definitely a dominant offense but lacking defensively just like this season. Especially with the loss of Jay Bouwmeester. Obviously Iginla isn’t on the team anymore but I don’t think he would leave if O’Reilly and Benn were his linemates. What do you think of the new-look Flames? Would we have won a Stanley Cup by now? Who you would have taken instead of Nemisz, Backlund or Erixon? Voice your opinion in the comments below.