The 2021 NHL draft has come and gone. The first round took place Friday evening and was mired in controversy due to the final two picks made by the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks respectively. We broke down all the good and bad things from day one here, and thankfully day two didn’t have the same issues.
We now break down day two: how it went for the Flames, the big stories around the league, and unfairly disappointing results for several minority players.
The Calgary Flames
The Flames selected seven times on day two for a grand total of eight players drafted this year. Joining Matt Coronato who went in one were William Stromgren, Cole Huckins, Cameron Whynot, Cole Jordan, Jack Beck, Lucas Ciona, and Arsenii Sergeev.
We profiled Coronato prior to the draft, and had him going to the Flames in our TWC mock draft. As well, we identified Stromgren as a potential second round target for the Flames.
Tod Button, Director of Amateur Scouting for the Flames, talked about each player in his media availability today. TWC will be doing a deep dive into each of these players, but this is a taste of how the Flames view their 2021 draft class. A common theme here is the lack of in-person scouting the team could conduct this season. A lot of these picks were made based on trust in local area scouts.
Really happy about him. It was one of those picks where the need intersected with the best player on our list and that worked out well. Skilled right winger. Scores in a variety of ways. He’s not one dimensional. He can make plays on the move. He has a good 200-foot game that’s going to get developed more as he matures and goes to college. But we got him for his offense and the different ways he can create and the different ways he can finish.Tod Button
A guy we had liked all year. He played in MODO Sweden. He’s a tall, lanky left wing. When we talk about the draft this year and the pandemic and how hard it is, he’s a guy that we were able to track early and watch his progression, and he comes from a small town and he wasn’t experienced at higher levels of hockey so we watched that progress this year right in person as we’re watching him and watching him on video so he goes from a small town, MODO in a lower league, and then at the end of the year he’s playing with his peers at the under-18 in Dallas, Texas. So that was pretty neat to watch. He’s got a lot of raw ability, so we just got to get him the necessary experiences where he can learn when to use his skill instead of, I know he’s a dynamic personality, like he wants to use his skill all the time, so he’s just got to learn through experience and playing at higher levels that you can’t beat guys 1-on-2 all the time. But he’s got reach, he’s got vision, he’s a really good skater, he’s got quick feet, he just has to gain experience and go through the necessary physical development and he’s in a good spot next year. He’s hopefully going to take a spot on the Rogle SHL team. But we’re really excited about getting a guy with his talent in the second round.Tod Button
This is the area this is the area of the draft where we really started to rely on area scouts and guys with a lot of viewing. Cole was a high pick in the Quebec Major Junior League draft. Our two main Quebec guys, Fred Parker and Patrick Lachance saw him a lot, Fred knows him from when he was younger, and Patrick saw him a lot. He’s a big, rangy left wing. He’s got work to do on his mobility, but he can skate in straight lines. He’s got a really good reach. He’s a good at protecting pucks. We see him as a left wing although I know he’s played a little bit of center, and he’s got a mean streak, and he can compliment skilled players by going to the net and creating space and then finish in and around the net.Tod Button
What I would call a today-type defenseman. He’s mobile, he moves pucks, he can carry the puck up the ice. He’s another kid that’s physically a little underdeveloped so he’s got to put some weight on and some strength which is going to help his defending game. He’s a pretty good defender as far as contain, but when he needs to be assertive and more physical that’s the part where he’s going to develop his game as he gains more strength and develops physically.Tod Button
Darren Krueger loved this kid. Watched him a lot in Moose Jaw. Even though he’s a late birthday he’s really come since his 16 year old year. He’s 6’2” 200 lbs. He’s a really good skater. He’s a first pass more of a defender type. Kruegs doesn’t think he’s going to run a powerplay any time soon but thinks he’s got some potential to improve his offensive game and add a little bit more in the offensive zone.Tod Button
He didn’t play any games this year. He did a lot of training, he’s grown a bit. We have him as a winger/center, he’s kind of versatile. They had a pretty good team last year and as an underage he didn’t get to play his position growing up as a center, they moved him around the lineup. He’s a scrappy kid. He’s more of a playmaking/vision type guy. Trust in Terry. Terry’s done a good job for us, Fred Parker has done a good job for us in Ottawa. You rely on those guys in this situation so we think we got a good one here even though we didn’t get to see him play.Tod Button
A kid that’s a big, powerful winger. Again, underrated physical skill. He’s not going to beat guys off the rush that much, but what he’s going to do is get to the net, create space for the skill guys and then get some pucks in the net from in and around the hard areas. You watch the playoffs and you see those guys have a lot of success. They help create room for smaller guys and he’s got enough ability to score when it matters and into the trench areas.Tod Button
Goaltender from the North American League Shreveport. We heard about him, we watched him on a lot of tape, Central Scouting had him ranked, and then when we were at the under-18s in Texas they were playing in Shreveport and they actually played a game on the road in Texas. So we had Thomas Speer there so he went and watched him live so he’s a guy we sort of started tracking. It went to the finals in the North American League. Jordan Sigalet then followed up. Watched a lot of video on him and he’s a little bit raw, but he’s got another year. He’s going to go play for Tri City in the USHL next year and then he’s going to UConn. So we figure get a guy like this in the pipeline and see where he is in four or five years. We think we’ve done that, we’ve got Dustin Wolf, and Chechelev we drafted last year so we think we’ve got some guys that are going to pop at different times. The goalie guys made this pick. They really like the potential and the path he was going to take.Tod Button
Again, we’ll be doing a deep dive on all the new Flames prospects so stay tuned for that in the coming days and weeks.
Activity around the NHL
Day two of the draft featured 17 trades, mostly swapping draft picks and mostly involving the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes made six trades over the course of the draft and ended up picking 13 players in total.
There were two big trades involving players as well.
The Buffao Sabres traded forward Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers in exchange for goaltending prospect Devon Levi and a first round pick (the pick is either in 2022 or 2023 depending on Florida’s draft position in 2022). This was a big one and the second blockbuster trade made by the Sabres in as many days. They’ve now parted ways with Reinhart and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Jack Eichel remains on the Sabres’ roster, but that might be the next domino to fall.
The other trade invovled the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers who swapped Cam Atkinson and Jakub Voracek. No other pieces were involved and no salary was retained in this deal.
It was great to see minority players Conner Roulette, Gannon Laroque, Shai Buium, and Bryce Montgomery get selected in the draft. Their inclusion in the prospect systems of NHL teams is a step forward to growing the game and hopefully they all have successful careers with their respective teams.
There were several minority players who did not get selected, however. The list includes Trevor Wong, Israel Mianscum, and Zack Stringer, though there are likely more that I’m just not currently aware of.
In a shallow draft, I find it difficult to understand why a team wouldn’t take a chance on a player on this list. This is especially confusing about Wong who was ranked highly on many draft boards. He was ranked #35 by EliteProspects, #67 by FC Hockey, #80 by McKeen’s Hockey, #90 on Central Scouting’s list of NA Skaters, #88 by Recruit Scouting, and #68 by Smaht Scouting. There is no reason why he wasn’t drafted at all, and this represents a clear miss by every single NHL team.
For reference, Mianscum was ranked #202 and Stringer #190 on Central Scouting’s list of NA Skaters. They weren’t top prospects by any means, but there were many players drafted who were ranked well below them.
Hopefully these players, and all those like them, get to hear their name called in next year’s draft.