Question 3: Have you had a chance to look at the player the Flames picked up at that 16th overall pick? (Juuso Valimaki) If you have, how do you feel about this choice?
I am neutral about it. I won’t get my hopes up for him because D-men are harder to develop than forwards, but it has happened. I think the Flames have better defensive prospects in the system that will get a shot before him unless he blows management away at camp. He seems to be a big boy who can be sound defensively, but that seems to be all he is.
I think this is a safe pick for Calgary. They have too many forwards and with T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton and the aforementioned Hamonic on defence, there’s no rush nor pressure to get Valimaki ready. He’s easily two or three years away from the NHL. But his good size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds), should help Valimaki succeed as a second-pairing blueliner in the future.
I think its a good choice, you can never have enough high end defensive prospects. But I would have liked Timothy Liljegren instead. His offensive skill could be better than Valimaki’s down the line here. But overall, still a good choice by Brad Treliving and Co.
Yeah I’m somewhat neutral about it too, but it is a safe pick. I wrote about Valimaki and I talked about how I would have preferred a guy like Liljegren since he was still available and the Toronto Maple Leafs selected him right after the Flames selected Valimaki. But nonetheless, some good things about him is that he’s big and had a solid season last season with the Tri-City Americans. He isn’t flashy, but is a smart shooter and knows when to go to the net. Like Jonathan said, it takes a few years for d’s to develop, but the Flames are doing quite well with defence prospects right now.
Right now, it’s a safe pick.