One thing that the Calgary Flames lacked in a big way last season since the loss of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk was speed, and while the additions of Jakob Pelletier, Matt Coronato and other young names will help, the team need to plan for speed in the future. Enter Oliver Moore, who stands at 5-foot-11, 176 pounds and is by far and away the fastest center in this coming draft, and while he’s likely got more development on his size and defensive abilities, his pure skill and speed will cause mayhem at the NHL level.
Moore will be suiting up for the highly respected University of Minnesota team in 2023-24, and as such, the team will need to be patient with his development, but if he can continue to grow his weaknesses into strengths and build on his speed and skill, Oliver would be the perfect centrepiece of a Flames rebuild going forward.
2022-23 USA NTDP stats: 61 games, 31 goals, 44 assists, 75 points.
Simply put, if the Flames are to target someone down the middle in the 2023 NHL Draft, they should be looking for raw talent above all else, and in Nate Danielson, they could get one of the most talented players and one that is quite developed and well-rounded too. While Danielson played on one of the weaker teams in the WHL, he didn’t let it effect his performance, as he was consistently one of the best players on the ice for the Brandon Wheat Kings, and above all else, he was efficient with the minutes he was given.
While speed and goal-scoring stood out in his game all year long, the biggest strength of the 18-year old prospect is his playmaking, and if he can develop a defensive game at the NHL level, he could grow into a top-six center in very quick order, something the Flames desperately need.
2022-23 WHL stats: 68 games, 33 goals, 45 assists, 78 points.