The first day of the NHL Draft is over, but the Calgary Flames still have to make some selections! Let’s check out a possible fourth-round option with Gabriel Fortier.
Well, the first day of the NHL Draft is now over! It was quite underwhelming, and some teams made some odd choices, but nonetheless, nothing crazy happened. Which I was disappointed by. I wanted to see some big trades. I wanted Peter Chiarelli to make some Peter Chiarelli moves. However, I am glad the Calgary Flames didn’t do anything dumb.
While the Flames weren’t in action today, they have their chance to sign tomorrow when rounds 2-7 will be in effect. As we all know, the Flames don’t have a draft pick until the fourth-round (booooo).
There are a few players who could slip down to the 105th overall pick. Let’s check out Gabriel Fortier.
Who is Gabriel Fortier?
Name: Gabriel Fortier
Birthplace: LaSalle, QC, Canada
Height: 5’10” / 177 cm
Weight: 77 kg / 170 lbs
Team: Baie-Comeau Drakkar
Stats from 2017-2018
Stats with Baie-Comeau, regular season (from eliteprospects.com):
Stats with Baie-Comeau, playoffs:
- Round 1, #4 overall: Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL Entry Draft
Rankings for 2018 NHL Entry Draft
- #49 Hockey Draft Central
- #49 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
- #67 by Hockey Prospect
- #69 by TSN’s Bob McKenzie (January)
- #81 by McKeen’s Hockey
- #89 by Future Considerations
- #89 by ISS Hockey
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Versatile player and can play down the middle or on the wing. Great awareness on the ice and knows where his linemates are at all times. Can play on any line and have success. The “straw that stirs the drink” as far as offensive awareness goes. Keen instincts and real effective on the rush. Smooth skater who has an extra gear that helps him gain separation quite easily. Protects the puck well with his body and is strong on his skates. He can pivot in tight spots and likes to dart in and out of traffic. Small in size but strong in heart on the ice. Likes to drive hard to the net, scrambling for rebounds and will use his strength to drive into coverage and create turnovers. Positions himself in the passing lanes to break up opposing breakouts and not afraid to get his hands dirty in the corners (Hockey Now’s Marshall MacKinder).
Gabriel Fortier and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar lost in the first round of the playoffs in five games to the Halifax Mooseheads. Fortier had three goals in the five games and was honoured as the team’s MVP for their duration of the playoffs. The full interview can be found here but warning, it’s in French.
Fortier also played in the Hlinka Memorial in August which is the annual for national U-18 ice hockey teams from around the world, and he walked away with a Gold Medal.
Fortier was also invited to the NHL combine where he put up impressive stats, especially compared to his fellow CHL players. All the stats can be found here.
What can he bring to the Flames?
Like his scouting report says and what many scouts have said about Fortier is that he’s not the biggest guy on the ice, but he has other many assets. He may not be the biggest, but he gives 110% every game and is a true leader on the ice.
The Calgary Flames could use some wingers right now and within the next few years, especially on the bottom-six. A player you’d want in that role is a guy who will protect the puck and is strong in the neutral zone. A plus is that he can play at center if needed as well, which can be handy since nobody quite knows what’s in store for Mark Jankowski‘s future.
He did suffer a shoulder injury at the start of the 2016-17 season, so that may be a slight concern if that injury were to resurface.
A player of his calibre has the ability to become a great two-way player and I can see a guy like Mikael Backlund almost acting as a mentor for him.
Let’s check out some of his highlights:
Fortier has the ability to become a top-six winger and a lot of that will depend on how this next season will go for him. He could fall down to the fourth-round, although it seems unlikely with how well he did in the playoffs. If he does, it would definitely be a steal for the Calgary Flames to pick him up.