2024 Calgary Flames Draft Prospect Preview: Sam Dickinson

Sam Dickinson
Sam Dickinson / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The 2024 NHL Draft is just a matter of hours away, and with the No. 9 overall pick, the Calgary Flames could change their entire future with a home run selection. After months of intrigue and speculation, the time to make the selection is upon us, and after previewing plenty of potential candidates, we have one left to look into.

While he may not be available when the Flames take to the podium, but London Knights star Sam Dickinson is an intriguing name that could solve many issues for the Flames in the present and the future. The time is now to draft for the Flames, so for one final time, let's take a deep dive into a potential building block of the future for the Calgary Flames.

Sam Dickinson, D, London Knights

6-foot-3, 2024 pounds, 18-years of age.
2023-24 OHL stats: 68 games played, 18 goals, 52 assists, 70 points, +56 differential.

While Calgary have improved the blue line for the present and the future, they still need a star of the future, and in Sam Dickinson, that's exactly who they would be getting, as he is as balanced and talented as arguably any other prospect in the draft.

"Dickinson can mirror footwork in close, take away space, and step into opponents to get stops. His defensive range can almost make it impossible to get past him. With the puck, he’s decisive and explosive, drawing in forechecking pressure only to leave it in his dust as he carries the puck from zone to zone unimpeded."

Elite Prospects Draft Profile

Many outlets have Dickinson rated as the second best defenseman in the NHL, but with the hype behind Zeev Buium and Zayne Parekh, there's a chance that Calgary may have the opportunity to make it happen. The 18-year old has the size that the Flames like, standing at 6-foot-3, but that doesn't limit his offensive abilities, as he has shown that with intensity, talent and instinct, he's capable of creating offense with an impressive 70 points in 58 games this past season.

The defensive abilities are what make him such an attractive prospect however, with his rangy frame and length making him the perfect player to cut off passing lanes and push offensive players out of the middle of the ice in his own zone. With this combination of size and skill, Dickinson could be a surprise player taken off the board earlier than expected and would be a no-brainer for the Flames at No. 9.

Most players have a glaring weakness, but that's not the case for Dickinson, and while he could improve with his decision making in the offensive zone, he is as complete a player as any that would potentially be available late in the top-10.

Reasons to draft Sam Dickinson

The reasons to draft Sam Dickinson fit right in with what the Flames like in a prospect; he's got the combination of size and skill that would make him NHL ready very soon, and with an offensive game that has the tools to develop, he's a bonafide No. 1 defenseman in waiting.

Reasons not to draft Sam Dickinson

The Ontario native played for the same team that former Flame Matthew Tkachuk did in his junior career, and simply put, there's very few holes in his game. It will take time to adjust offensively and to keep up with the quick decision making process at the NHL level, but with all of the tools, it's expected that he will make those adjustments very quickly.

Should the Flames draft Sam Dickinsion?

The lottery is expected to be incredibly unpredictable, but at this point, it's highly likely that Dickinson will be the second, or at the worst third defenseman off the board behind Artyom Levshunov and Zeev Buium. From there, the Flames will hope that an x-factor defenseman like Dickinson is still available, and if he is, it doesn't matter who else remains on the board, he needs to be their selection.