Just over a year ago, the Flames made their five selections in the 2019 draft. While none are expected to play in Calgary, there was a lot of excitement around a few of them, notably first round pick Jakob Pelletier and seventh round pick Dustin Wolf. Conversely, there was minimal reaction to the Flames other selections.
We take a look at how each pick did in their first year since being drafted:
Round 1: Jakob Pelletier
Drafted 26th overall, Pelletier played last season with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL, alongside former Flames Jeremy McKenna. To say he had a monster year would be an understatement. He put up 82 points in 57 games, finishing 10th in the league. At one point he was third in the league in scoring prior to suffering an injury, but ended the league third among 18 year olds in scoring.
We wrote about him earlier in the season and how good he was over the first half of the season, however after his injury his production did drop off towards the end of the season.
In June of this year, he was traded to the Val d’Or Foreurs where he will play this season. This season will be key for his development to see whether he can return to the form he showed in the first half of his season.
Round 2: No pick
The Flames traded this pick to the New York Islanders as part of the Travis Hamonic deal. They drafted Samuel Bolduc of the QMJHL, who put up 43 points in 61 games as a defenceman.
Round 3: Ilya Nikolayev
The Flames drafted the Russian forward in the third round. Prior to being drafted, he put up 25 points in the MHL, the Russian junior hockey league. He also had seven points in five games with Team Russia at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. In the following year, he added to that with 32 points in 53 games with Loko Yaroslavl.
This year, he has exploded out the gate, with 11 points in 10 games. Quietly a very exciting forward prospect, if he can keep up this pace, the Flames may look to bring him over to North America sooner than expected. Definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.
Round 4: Lucas Feuk
Feuk is a Swedish centre and winger who shoots left. Drafted 116th overall, scouts raved about his offensive ability when he has the puck. He has a nose for the net, with 43 points in 43 games the year he was drafted.
Last season, he put up 20 points in 17 games in the J20 SuperElit. It will be interesting to see if he can continue this pace this season, and whether the Flames look to move him over to Stockton.
Round 5: Josh Nodler
Drafted out of the USHL and the US Development Program. Prior to being drafted, he put up 42 points in 54 games with the Fargo Force, but struggled in his first season in the NCAA with Michigan State. In his rookie year, he put up 8 points in 36 points, largely playing in a support role.
This season’s NCAA hockey season is delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, but it will be interesting to see what the Flames do with him for this season.
Round 6: No pick
The Flames traded this pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2017 as part of the Eddie Lack deal. They selected Kevin Wall, who played in the BCHL and now plays in the NCAA with Penn State.
Round 7: Dustin Wolf
One of the Flames most exciting picks, and arguably their most exciting seventh round picks, Wolf was the last pick last season. Drafted on the back of 0.936 save percentage in 61 games with the Everett Silvertips, the Flames wanted to see if the undersized netminder could keep up this level of play.
He absolutely did. Putting up a 0.935 save percentage in 46 games in the shortened season. He picked up the WHL Goalie of the Year Award, the Dave Peterson Goaltender of the Year Award for US Hockey, and the CHL Goalie of the Year Award. He was the top goalie in the CHL and the top American goalie. A sneakily excellent pick for the Flames, who will play his final season with the Silvertips this year.