While the Calgary Flames haven’t always hit on their first-round picks, some in recent years have turned out to be solid players (with several appearing on this countdown), and after landing their guy in the first round in 2023, they are hoping he can develop into a superstar this team can count on.
Despite only being a Flame for a number of days, 18-year old forward Samuel Honzek has made a great impression on the organization, as he was impressive at the teams development camp, and with the size and skill needed to develop quickly, things are looking good for the former Vancouver Giant. In 43 games this past WHL season with Vancouver, Honzek was impressive on both ends of the ice despite some injury concerns, as he tallied 23 goals and 33 assists for 56 points, and now, it appears he’s got a great shot at becoming a key part of the organization very quickly.
Like many 18-year old hockey players standing at 6-foot-4, Honzek has to grow into his body before being able to withstand the physical nature of the NHL, but as seen in the clips above, he no doubt has the hands and hockey IQ to become a consistent force at the next level. His other area of weakness is the skating, which will no doubt come with time, especially as he gets to the AHL level and begins to play with more experienced players.
Many fans criticized the move at the time, as they saw players they preferred were still on the board, but it was a massive positive for Calgary that the organization knew who they wanted and went to get him, but given the ageing nature of this team on the wing and down the middle, they need Honzek to perform and develop immediately, meaning few people would be surprised if he was in the NHL at the age of 20.
So what do you think Flames fans? Are you excited about the Honzek pick if you weren’t at the time? If not, what do you want to see from him this year? What do you think his stat line will be in 2023-24? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.