2024 Calgary Flames Draft Prospect Preview: Zeev Buium

Zeev Buium
Zeev Buium / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

While the Calgary Flames hold the No. 9 overall pick, there's a chance that any player ranked between No. 4 and No. 15 could be available, as this is one of the most unpredictable lotteries in recent memory. That means anyone could be in play, and with the Flames looking to add to their blue line, Zeev Buium may be the perfect target if he falls to No. 9 overall.

Zeev Buium, University of Denver, D

6-foot-2, 183 pounds, 18-years of age.
2023-24 stats: 42 games played, 11 goals, 39 assists, 50 points, +33 points.

The upcoming NHL Draft is expected to be unpredictable, but there's two positions the Flames have big needs in, and a No. 1 d-man is top of the list, making 18-year old Zeev Buium the ideal target, and a popular one among fans. While he needs work on the defensive end, Buium's offense is top tier, and considered NHL ready at this point, so wherever he's drafted, it's highly likely that he won't be far away from the league, likely to debut late next season or in 2025-26.

"“The ability to create space and evade pressure at the point is an important trait for any defender looking to impact the offensive side of the game, and it’s an area where Buium subtly excels. He sets up opponents by feinting a stride to one side and then shifting his weight to quickly accelerate the other way. "

Tony Ferrari, The Hockey News

Buium is considered one of the best skaters in this draft, and combining this with his offensive flair and ability to get everyone on the ice involved offensively, he could be the game changing blue liner the team are searching for to pair with Hunter Brzustewicz and Jeremie Poirier for the future.

At Denver this past year, Buium was just the third freshman in NCAA history to tally 50 points in a season, and in mock drafts over the past few weeks, he's been linked to being drafted anywhere from the No. 3 overall spot down to as low as 11th overall.

Reasons to draft Zeev Buium

While the Flames defensive stocks have risen over the past year with the additions of Etienne Morin, Jeremie Poirier, Hunter Brzustewicz and Daniil Miromanov, they are yet to find that true, gamebreaking No. 1 defenseman like a Cale Makar, Quin Hughes, Roman Josi or Victor Hedman. The draft is never a guarantee, but if you're looking for a player that can offensively lead your blue line at the NHL level, that's the expectation for Buium.

Reasons not to draft Zeev Buium

On paper, Buium is the type of high-level prospect that the Flames have been searching for, and while his offensive game translates to the next level, he needs some work in his own defensive zone, and if he falls to Calgary at No. 9, that will likely be the reasoning behind the fall.

Should the Flames draft Zeev Buium?

In all likelihood, the 18-year old won't be available when Craig Conroy and the Flames front office take to the podium, and unless one of the top three in Celebrini, Demidov or Levshunov someone fall, the Flames should run to the podium with the selection of Buium and not look back.