Calgary FlamesNHL Draft

Calgary Flames 2022 NHL Draft second round forward targets

The 2022 NHL draft is just over one week away. Held in Montreal this year, the first round will take place in the evening of Thursday July 7, and the second round the following day on Friday July 8. The Flames traded their first round pick to acquire Tyler Toffoli before the trade deadline, so barring a trade, they won’t pick on the first day of the draft. Their first pick comes in the second round, 59th overall, on day two.

TWC will be breaking down which players the Flames could select with their second round pick at #59 by position, starting with the forwards today.

Our consolidated draft rankings were created by compiling various draft boards and rankings including those from from Dobber, Future Considerations, Sportsnet, EliteProspects, The Hockey Writers, TSN, and The Athletic. The top and bottom ranks for each player were removed, and then a simple average was taken. There is no right way to rank these players so take them with a grain of salt; we know GMs will probably draft in a very different order than any of us think come draft day.

Let’s dive into the top five draft eligible forwards the Flames could take with their second-round selection:

50Adam IngramFYoungstown PhantomsUSHL14-Oct-036’2″174L5426295530
51Jani NymanLWKOOVEEMestis30-Jul-046’3″216L3418173520
66Ludwig PerssonC/LWFrölunda HC J20J20 Nationell08-Oct-036’0″179L4125366116
73Aleksanteri KaskimäkiCHIFK U20U20 SM-sarja06-Feb-046’0″196L3119214020
94Nicholas MoldenhauerC/RWChicago SteelUSHL25-May-045’11”170R411825434

Adam Ingram

50Adam IngramFYoungstown PhantomsUSHL14-Oct-036’2″174L5426295530

Adam Ingram just finished his D+0 season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He’s on the older side of the draft class being 11 months older than the youngest eligible prospect (the youngest birthday a prospect can have is September 15, 2004). However, in his first year in the USHL he put up the second highest points-per-game rate and highest goals-per-game rate in the USHL among non-USNTDP players. He’s committed to St. Cloud State University in the NCAA next season.

A big forward, Ingram still has room to fill out his 6’2″ frame, and project to be an offence-first winger in the NHL. His biggest asset is his shot which some scouts have already pegged at being NHL-calibre, but scoring 26 goals in the USHL as an 18-year-old makes me think he could still improve that skill. Still, he has an incredible release that is definitely intriguing.

Most of his production this season came at 5v5 as well, which points to proper offensive talent rather than a power play specialist. The fact that he performed very well for a player outside the USNTP is a nice bullet point on his resume.

On the defensive end of the ice, there is work to be done. Ingram clearly tends towards the scoring side of the game. There is nothing wrong with that, especially for a second round pick, and he has plenty of time to round out his game in the very competitive NCAA. He also saw his production dip in the second half of the year, prompting Central Scouting to drop him from the 14th ranked North American skater in the midterm rankings to 27th in the final rankings.

Ingram is a player who could easily play out his entire eligibility in the NCAA just working on his game and developing his overall skill set. He’s far from a polished product, but as a second rounder with definitely offensive skill and the upside to be a big middle-six scoring winger, there is a lot of value to be had with Ingram at 59th overall.

Sam Cosentino has Ingram ranked the highest at 28th overall, and Corey Pronman had him ranked the lowest at 74th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Jani Nyman

51Jani NymanLWKOOVEEMestis30-Jul-046’3″216L3418173520

Jani Nyman just finished his D+0 season with the Ilves system in Finland. Flames fans will recognize this team from the 2021 season where Juuso Valimaki lit up the Liiga on Ilves’ top club. Nyman is on the extreme young side of the draft class, just 47 days older than the cutoff. He played 10 games for Ilves in the Liiga but it was a bit too much for the young forward, and Ilves loaned him to KOOVEE in the Mestis (Finland’s second highest men’s league) where he scored 18 goals and 35 points in 34 games. He also put on a show at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup with three goals and seven points in five games.

Nyman is another pure offense, typical second round prospect. He excels on the offensive game with an arsenal of many types of shots, all powerful and accurate. His release is deceptive and quick, and Nyman is adept at finding soft spots in the defense to take passes and rip shots passed goaltenders.

His soft hands also help Nyman on the playmaking side of the game. He’s able to finesse passes to his teammates all over the ice and is particularly good at making plays on the rush, whether it be as the passer or the shooter. This is a great skill that a lot of great players don’t have; it’s hard to make plays at high speed and Nyman has this tool in his belt.

The other side of Nyman’s game that is extremely advanced is his skating. He has an excellent stride and can hit very solid top-end speed with good acceleration, too. He is excellent at creating separation on defenders and has the agility to lose his check and get into dangerous areas of the ice. His size helps him do this, but he doesn’t use his frame as well as he could. Nyman doesn’t forecheck particularly well or grind out puck battles along the boards.

Nyman’s current weakness is the defensive end. He’s pure offence right now, and can look completely uninterested and disengaged when he doesn’t have the puck. He doesn’t backcheck and when he’s stuck playing defence it doesn’t generally go very well for him or his team. He finished with a -13 rating this season in the Mestis for a reason.

Nyman’s aversion to playing defence is going to scare a lot of GMs away, which is why he could free fall in this draft. He might even be available into the fifth round when the Flames have their second pick in the draft. However, because of how talented he is offensively, perhaps he goes early and a team commits to making Nyman learn the defensive side of the game. Those skills can be taught, and if he is able to learn them he could be an excellent NHL winger.

Nyman is a boom or bust prospect—not really Brad Treliving’s style, but with so few offensive dynamos in the system and a familiarity with Ilves, maybe he takes a swing. Nyman is ranked 55th on our consolidated board, but I’d personally rank him fifth on this list of players.

Corey Pronman has Nyman ranked the highest at 33rd overall, and THW had him ranked the lowest at 59th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Ludwig Persson

66Ludwig PerssonC/LWFrölunda HC J20J20 Nationell08-Oct-036’0″179L4125366116

Ludwig Persson just finished his D+0 season with Frolunda in the J20 Nationell, also getting into 10 games in the SHL, Sweden’s top men’s league. Persson absolutely lit up the J20, putting up 25 goals and 61 points in just 41 games.

He finished second overall in scoring in the J20, clearly too good for that league as a draft eligible, but didn’t get very much ice time in his brief SHL stint. That’s very typical even of the best Swedish prospects, so it’s not a concern by any means. Persson will play for BIK Karlskoga in the Allsvenskan next season, Sweden’s second best men’s league.

He’s on the older side of this draft class, just two months older and he would have been eligible for last year’s class.

Not to sound like a broken record, but Persson is a pure offence prospect. In the second round, these are the types of players that are available; the well-rounded players get taken in the first round.

Persson’s top skill is his speed. Not only can he achieve high-end top speed, but he can get there in the blink of an eye. His acceleration is so good it allowed him to keep up with professional players in the SHL, one of the best men’s leagues in the world. His transition game is elite among his peers as well. On the goal scoring side, he relies on his solid wrist shot, but doesn’t boast the large repertoire of shot types that players like Nyman do.

Still, Persson looks to be an easy lock for the second round and many scouts predict he will be taken by a team that tends to favour Swedish prospects. If that isn’t the Calgary Flames’ music, I don’t know what is. Persson is a very solid prospect that could have easily been a first-round pick if his defensive game was better.

Like Nyman, he is noticeably less interested when the puck is in his own zone, and he doesn’t appear to pay that much attention to his defensive zone positioning. It’s not as bad as Nyman though, and Persson will be forced to work on this side of his game if he wants to succeed playing in one of the top two leagues in Sweden.

Dobber Prospects has Nyman ranked the highest at 40th overall, and Corey Pronman had him ranked the lowest at 104th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Aleksanteri Kaskimäki

73Aleksanteri KaskimäkiCHIFK U20U20 SM-sarja06-Feb-046’0″196L3119214020

Aleksanteri Kaskimäki saw his draft stock skyrocket this season. Ranked as a third or fourth rounder at the start of the year, he had a breakout campaign for Finland’s international teams, scored 19 goals and 41 points in just 31 games in Finland’s top junior league, and was promoted to the Liiga where he posted two points in four games. Kaskimäki is midway through his draft class in terms of age; nothing really to report on that side of things.

The most interesting part of Kaskimäki’s game is his creativeness and deception with the puck in the offensive zone. He can play either as the scorer or the playmaker, and his puck skills allow him to excel at both. His shot is very deceptive as his release can come from various points on his stick, and he’s comfortable with both his wrist shot and backhand. he has a knack of showing one move and using another, whether that’s faking a shot to make a pass to a streaking teammate, or showing a wrister and shifting quickly to a backhand in tight.

Kaskimäki also has excellent skating talent, with very good top speed and acceleration that rivals the best in his draft class. he can blow past defenders on the rush with ease and uses his skating and size to engage physically in all three zones to win battles.

The defensive side needs improvement, but not as much as some of the others we’ve discussed. Kaskimäki has played significant time on the penalty kill and has good positioning and defensive awareness while in his own zone. His commitment and attention fade with fatigue, but conditioning can be worked on and this isn’t something I would get too concerned about.

The biggest concern in Kaskimäki’s game is that he’s played primarily in junior in Finland. Finland isn’t a bad circuit by any means, but it’s a step below the Swedish program and Finland’s junior ranks are even more so behind. Kaskimäki looks like a good player with a lot of upside, the question is if he can play the same way and have the same type of success in a better league with better players.

Many scouts predict Kaskimäki to go in the second round to a team with multiple picks so they can mitigate the risk in taking him. Despite playing in junior leagues, I still think he goes in the second due to his offensive skill.

TSN’s Craig Button has Kaskimäki ranked the highest at 60th overall, and Smaht Scouting had him ranked the lowest at 73rd among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Nicholas Moldenhauer

94Nicholas MoldenhauerC/RWChicago SteelUSHL25-May-045’11”170R411825434

Nicholas Moldenhauer is the only right shot player on this list, and the second from the USHL. He finished his D+0 season playing for the Chicago Steel, former home of 2021 first rounder Matthew Coronato, with a solid 18 goals and 43 points in 41 games. However, there is a lot more to Moldenhauer’s story.

He was originally drafted by the OHL’s Ottawa 67s, but since the OHL was cancelled in 2021 due to the covid pandemic, he opted to ultimately play for the Steel in the USHL. In a game against the USA U-18 team, Moldenhauer was involved in a truly terrifying play where he took a skate blade directly to the face. He required surgery and underwent a long recovery process, finally able to return for the Steel midway through the season. It was the type of adversity nobody should ever have to go through, and to Moldenhauer’s credit, he came through the other side in impressive fashion. His surge in the second half of the season was enough to earn him a spot on Canada’s U-18 team as well, putting up a goal and three points in four games.

With a broad skill set, Moldenhauer grabbed the attention of NHL scouts. He was unranked on every board we considered on our consolidated midterm rankings, and rocketed up to the 94th spot on the final rankings. With a full season, it’s entirely possible he would have been widely considered to be a second round pick. This is the type of diamond in the rough teams love to find, and are praised for drafting years down the line.

Moldenhauer’s list of strengths starts with his skating. He’s a very good player on the rush and in transition, able to use his stride to create space and get into positions to score goals. His shooting and passing are just okay, good enough to succeed at the USHL level but likely average if/when he makes the NHL.

Scouts are also conflicted on whether he has the ability to play a complete two-way game. Some feel he has all the skills and the size required to be an effective player in the defensive zone, while others feel he is too unrefined in that area and would need improvement to call him a 200-foot player.

His compete level and resilience are off the charts though, and there should be no doubt that Moldenhauer will do whatever he can to achieve his ceiling.

Scott Wheeler has Moldenhauer ranked the highest at 40th overall, and Corey Pronman had him ranked the lowest at 118th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Which forward would you pick if you were the Flames? let us know in the comments or on social media.

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