The Calgary Flames picked Slovakia’s Samuel Honzek of the Vancouver Giants with the No. 16 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft, and while some loved the pick as his combination of size and skill makes him a great prospect, others however lamented the move and want Calgary to be much more aggressive on day two of the draft.
Currently, the Flames hold the No. 48 pick in the second round, and while that could get them another solid pick in this very deep draft, there’s players worth moving assets for, and if Calgary want to find the top possible talent, there’s one name they need to target.
That name is Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets, and with the connections of Jarome Iginla, now working as the Special Advisor to the General Manager who works with the Rockets closely, the connections are there to move up and land the very, very special talent. Over the past two seasons for Kelowna, Cristall has played in 115 games, scoring 67 goals and 97 assists for 164 points, and while he’s certainly undersized, he has more than enough potential, especially as a second round pick.
The Flames opted for a safe pick in the first-round with plenty of upside, but now, they need to swing for the fences, and after No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard vouched for his Team Canada team-mate, Calgary need to do everything they can to land such a difference maker. Speed, silky hands, fantastic skating, a high hockey IQ and playmaking are just some of the things Cristall brings to the table, and while his size and defense could no doubt hold him back from becoming a top tier player in the NHL, he can no doubt be a solid player that the Flames would love to have for the future.
So what do you think? Would moving up to land Cristall be a good move for Calgary? Who should they be targeting in the second round? What move from the Flames would make you see their 2023 NHL Draft as a success? As always, let us know in the comments below.