This year Randy will predict and share his choices for the 4th overall, 34th overall and the 54th overall selection in this years NHL draft.
*Click on each of Randy's picks names. It will allow you to watch a highlight video on each individual player
It seems to be a yearly project for this site to make a fool of me. Yes, its the annual event known as the NHL draft. For some reason, I volunteer to make a fool out of myself by attempting to predict what the Flames are going to do. Actually, the name of it is good: a mock draft, which mean all of you can mock my picks. I actually want you to know that I take this seriously, which really embarrasses me even more. I really should not tell you that; but I digress— on to the picks.
FIRST ROUND, PICK NUMBER 4:
This was a very hard choice for me to make. The main problem I have is that I do not think the player the Flames want will be available at four. The next problem I had while doing my research is that so many people have them picking different players. Most have us picking Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl. There were a few who had us choosing Sam Reinhart. But that is a bit optimistic; there is no way he is available at number 4. My pick at number four;
The lack of depth in this this draft has been highly criticized. Most seem to think after the first 5 picks there is a huge drop off in talent. This makes it vital that the Flames make this pick count. They have to get it right. My choice more than likely won't be there, but I still chose him: Leon Draisiatl. I have two reasons for this choice of Leon. One is for his size. The Flames' number one priority is to get bigger and more skilled. Leon is a highly skilled centre, who is also highly intelligent. He is a great stick handler and has the ability to get a shot off quick. Mr Draisaitl is a tank, and he will prove that he is hard to knock off the puck. He has some grit and will stick up for himself. Leon may not be the fastest skater, but his speed is good enough. Like I said earlier, the Flames' number one priority is to get bigger and better. Leon fits his criteria. He is a solid, big body forward who will contribute to this team offensively. More importantly, he will not hurt this team in their own zone.
THE CHANCE OF TRADING DOWN
With the news that the Leafs are desperately trying to move up, there is that slight chance of the Flames trading down at the draft. The Flames really like Nick Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes. He is a big, rugged winger who could be a future power forward. What's not to like? The Flames could be enticed by the Leafs to trade down.
SECOND ROUND, PICK 34:
The second round is almost crap shoot. There is very little to differentiate between picks 30 and 60. In this round, there will be plenty of off-the-wall picks. It really depends on the team's needs. Going into the draft, the Flames need to improve on every position in order to compete in the Western Conference. They need to upgrade their scoring and their defense . If they can find a dman who can distribute in the scoring; even better.
With this pick, I am leaning towards getting a defensemen. Three names came to my mind: Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting, Julius Honka of the Swift Current Broncos, and Travis Sanheim of the Calgary Hitmen. Anthony is a very skilled playmaking defenseman, but I think his lack of size will scare the Flames off. Julius is a steady, stay-home defenseman who plays a gritty game. I am just not sure he can contribute enough in the offensive zone.
My Pick at 34 is TRAVIS SANHEIM
This pick might be a bit of a gamble on my part, but I like this kid’s game. He improved his game, which gave him a bigger role with the Hitmen. This role added one vital ingredient to the Flames' recipe for success, and that is his power time. He might not be as skilled as Anthony, but he won’t be making the mistakes as Anthony will. He has more offensive upside than Jullis, although he is not quite as good defensively. But there is one thing he has that the other two don’t: he is far bigger and uses his size to his benefit.
THIRD ROUND, PICK 58:
Remember I mentioned every team will have their wild card? Well, insert that here. Yes, I might be going off the wall here a little, but I really like this pick.
Lucas Wallmark of the Skelleftea AIK. Lucas is an average-size centre who is very efficient at the draw. He is a very offensively-skilled player who works endlessly trying to score. Although he may very well be a project, in the end it will be worth it. He thinks well on the go, always thinking of two plays ahead. He is a spark plug on wheels; think a Ford Pinto with a souped up engine. He may very well be another Kenny Linseman.
The Flames will try their hardest to find their elite player at this draft. With the chances of Cammy leaving, it makes it that much more vital that they get at least the leg work done on a deal. The free agent market is not that great, so the Flames will have to either sign Cammy or do it through a trade. They know darn well they have to get better. Expect a lot of talk, but I am going to throw out one name I would go after: Dustin Penner. Not saying it will happen, just saying that is who I would like them to bring in on the right wing to help the youngsters. Enjoy mocking my draft picks.