2024 Calgary Flames Draft Prospect Preview: Konsta Helenius

Konsta Helenius
Konsta Helenius / BJORN LARSSON ROSVALL/GettyImages

The Calgary Flames have the chance to hit a major home run in the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft, and this is the draft to have a lottery pick, as the belief is that several of these names will end up being huge pieces of a franchise moving forward. Holding onto the No. 9 overall pick, Calgary won't exactly have their pick of the potential, as their choices will heavily be determined by other selections, and it may narrow down their choices in a big way.

One name that has begun popping up in recent times is Finland's Konsta Helenius, and while he's not the biggest name in the draft, he has the potential to be a solid player for a long time to come, so let's take a look at the Flames potential No. 9 overall pick from Europe.

Konsta Helenius - C, SM Liiga

5-foot-11, 180 pounds, 18-years old.
2023-24 SM Liiga stats: 51 games, 14 goals, 22 assists, 36 points, -3 differential.

Konsta Helenius is a name that has been projected to go anywhere from the Flames pick all the way down to No. 16 in mock drafts, but looking at the scouting report, he may be an underwhelming pick for fans that turns out to be a fantastic one down the line.

"Konsta Helenius is a well-rounded, detailed play-driver who is always a step ahead of the opposition. He stays with his check, takes away passing and shooting options with a strong defensive stick and refuses to get outworked in puck battles and on retrievals. He regularly wins body positioning from a disadvantage against bigger and stronger opponents, seals the puck and moves the puck up the ice to start a counter-attack"

Elite Prospects Draft Profile

Simply put, Helenius is solid in every way, but stands out in few compared to the rest of the draft class, which has many Flames fans overlooking him. The detail orientented nature of his approach will certainly be something that Craig Conroy looks too, but when he finds his rythym and gets comfortable, he could grow into a very respected player at the NHL level.

On paper, he may not seem like a game breaker, but according to the numbers and the eye test, his game is reminiscent of a very familiar face in Calgary.

On the downside, Helenius has gained criticism for his lack of overall physicality and his skating ability, but given time to develop in the AHL, the intangibles are there to make him a future 2C on any NHL team. After two tough years for Calgary Flames fans, they will be looking to the likes of Iginla, Catton or Lindstrom, players that make x-factor type plays, but in Helenius, with patience, they could have a crucial part of their future if that's the way the 2024 NHL Draft plays out.

Reasons to draft Konsta Helenius

Unlike other potential Flames draft picks, Helenius has spent the last two years playing at the top level against grown men, and the level of IQ that he has developed over that time has helped him become someone that can drive the play and lead a team. With instict and a very high floor of potential, Helenius wouldn't be a big name pick, but is exactly the type of player that Craig Conroy is looking for to build around.

Reasons not to draft Konsta Helenius

While drafting based on the desires of fans is never a good idea, the Flames need some elite level talent coming through the pipeline to get fans, other prospects in the organization and future free agents excited about the direction of this team. Helenius has his weaknesses with physicality and his skating ability, and if the Flames want the big name, high potential prospect, that simply isn't what drafting Helenius would achieve.

Should the Flames draft Konsta Helenius?

If the Flames were picking in the 4-7 range, a player like Helenius likely wouldn't be a thought given the potential star power, but there's a chance that the Flames top eight players are off the board by the time they come around. Helenius should be ranked between 10-13 on the Flames big board, and if one of Catton, Iginla, Lindstrom, Parekh, Dickinson or Buium are available, they should be the pick.

However, Helenius would provide some great potential as a solid middle-six center for years to come, so if he is the pick on June 29th, Flames fans should be excited about the player that they get.