NHL Draft

Calgary Flames 2022 NHL Draft second round defence targets

The 2022 NHL Draft is fast approaching, and now that the Stanley Cup has been awarded and the offseason has begun for all 32 teams, focus has shifted onto the draft. The Flames will be picking 59th overall with their earliest selection. From watching Stockton Heat in the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs and their current depth chart, acquiring a defenceman would fit a large need for the organization.

There are tons of great prospects this year, and tons of variation in the rankings as a result. From the TWC consolidated draft rankings, we’ve identified five top defencemen options to consider for the Flames at 59th overall.

49Simon ForsmarkDÖrebro HKSHL17-Oct-036’2″194L410332
54Maveric LamoureuxDDrummondville VoltigeursQMJHL13-Jan-046’7″198R544202469
55Mats LindgrenDKamloops BlazersWHL26-Aug-046’0″176L685394442
56Noah WarrenDGatineau OlympiquesQMJHL15-Jul-046’5″225R625192452
71Christian KyrouDErie OttersOHL16-Sep-035’10”172R6818426044

Simon Forsmark

49Simon ForsmarkDÖrebro HKSHL17-Oct-036’2″194L410332

Simon Forsmark only put up three assists in 43 games this year in the SHL. However, playing 43 games in Sweden’s top league at 17 years old is pretty impressive, and despite the lack of output on the scoreboard, there is still many aspects to like about Forsmark.

Firstly, Forsmark put up 27 points in 23 games at the J20 level so his promotion to the top league of the nation was not unearned. Secondly, as with most prospects he is young and still developing, despite the offensive output not being there yet. Forsmark thrives in a transition game and has a high hockey IQ applying to the whole length of the the ice. 

To be successful at the next level Forsmark will need to get his game speed up by working on his footspeed and east-west mobility and edgework. Off the puck, play is also a small concern but nothing major. Overall, the package and vision are definitely there for this Swedish defender, and usually the mental aspects of the game are what matter when grading prospects as the positioning, physical play, and mechanical aspects are easier for teams to teach in the modern NHL.

The last knock on Forsmark is his age. Being one of the older prospects in the draft usually means it is expected that you produce even more, and we haven’t seen that yet from Forsmark. 

The maturity, the IQ, the prototypical size, and the active use of his body and stick are all there for this Swede. If strides are made in staying mobile, getting involved offensively, and racking up points on the scoresheet, there is a lot to like about him. Through these improvements, Forsmark has the potential to be a great two-way defender in the NHL which is something that the Flames could greatly use in their prospect pool.

Future Considerations has Forsmark ranked the highest at 33rd overall, and TSN’s Craig Button had him ranked the lowest at 83rd among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Maveric Lamoureux

54Maveric LamoureuxDDrummondville VoltigeursQMJHL13-Jan-046’7″198R544202469

The classic project with the frame, size, and defensive know-how for the next level, introducing the big, rough, and tough Maverick Lamoureux. 

Scoring 24 points in the QMJHL is not very impressive on its own for a defenceman who is draft eligible, but when you look at the rest of Lamoureux’s profile you understand why NHL teams might be chomping at the bit to pick up this defender. Standing at a whopping 6’7″ and weighting in at 198 lbs, Lamoureaux still has room to grow at only 17 years old. He is a shining example of a project defenceman whose physical attributes make NHL teams go nuts.

Despite his size, Lamoureux’s footspeed is quite impressive with a rather quick first step, and a high top-speed. The usually weak area for big defenders—skating and mobility—are also in need of work for this young man. Lamoureux needs to work on his agility and his edges, but uses his size and reach effectively when he is outmatched in the skating department by opposing attackers.

Lamoureux is a project needing a few years to up his game and refine the weaker aspects, and his rankings on draft boards have varied as a result. Many teams could be running to the podium to get a 6’7’’ quick defender at the end of the first, but other scouts have him falling to the back half of the second and into the third.

Overall, as Lamoureux put it himself “the nasty game is part of my game,” and you’re definitely getting that if he ends up being part of the Flames system, something they could use on the back end. 

Sam Cosentino has Lamoureaux ranked the highest at 29th overall, and Smaht Scouting had him ranked the lowest at 111th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Mats Lindgren

55Mats LindgrenDKamloops BlazersWHL26-Aug-046’0″176L685394442

What the Flames need in their system is back-end talent, offensive upside, and speed. Well Mats Lindgren might just be the best skater in the draft—and there are few defenders as good as Lindgren when he’s good. He’s the type of player that if he can figure out what he’s missing would be a great addition to any team’s system.

Playing for the Kamloops Blazers, Lindgren was outshone in the WHL by the stellar seasons of defencemen Kevin Korchinski and Denton Mateychuk but with a respectable 44 points in 68 games, there are still clear signs of talent and tons of room for growth. Factoring in his late August 2004 birthday, Lindgren could just be scratching the surface. 

Though not the biggest defenceman—especially compared to Lamoureaux—Lindgren’s success is mostly attributed to his natural gifts of a high hockey IQ, stellar skating, and the vision to see the game develop around him and adjust accordingly. He has the elusiveness that allows him to shake almost any opposing defenders with the puck on his stick, and despite the form not being beautiful, his stride is hard to keep up with. It allows him to generate great passes and opportunities on the breakout and in the offensive zone. I mean come on:

The inconsistencies are the biggest knock against Lindgren as some nights he can look lights out, and others his errors are profound, obvious and make you shake your head. When caught flat-footed or beaten on the outside, he can struggle to make the turn and play the puck when a winger is attacking him wide. Lindgren will need to figure out how to continue being on the highlight reel as opposed to the bloopers which will allow him to develop into an NHL mainstay. 

The fear with Lindgren is that his offensive game and skating is what has allowed to succeed this far, and when the time to jump to the big leagues comes, he may fizzle out. The reward however, is something I think the Flames can gamble on especially with the potential of a top-four defenceman with immense offensive upside and truly stellar skating. 

Scott Wheeler has Lindgren ranked the highest at 36th overall, and Future Considerations had him ranked the lowest at 75th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Noah Warren

56Noah WarrenDGatineau OlympiquesQMJHL15-Jul-046’5″225R625192452

A shutdown right handed shot who excels on the penalty kill, can eat big minutes, and is still relatively effective in transition in a 6’5’’, 250 lbs package. If this sounds like something you think the Flames need, meet Noah Warren.

Warren, who plays for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL has been essential in the team’s success in the last two years. His aggressive defensive play has been an effective tool to ward off attackers in his own zone, and if they keep attacking, Warren has no fear using his physicality and size to break up plays.

Moreover, Warren is an example of consistency for the Olympiques blueline, always showing up, working hard, and excelling at picking his spot to make hits, poke checks and more. He’s a calculated player, rarely a detriment to his team by making the hit for the sake of making a hit. 

His point totals are concerning; even the best NHL shutdown defencemen tend to generate offence in the junior leagues, and Warren’s 24 points doesn’t stand out in the slightest. However, this is progress from his rookie campaign in the Q and if Warren can continue to work on his weakest areas of the game, offensive zone play and point production as well as skating and mobility, he can become an effective shutdown D-man that would be solid on any NHL teams back end. 

Despite the point totals not being amazing, Warren plays at a high compete level every night and is a player that is clearly willing to put in the work on the areas of the game he doesn’t excel while still being a rock-solid defender night-in and night-out. The vision in the offensive zone, not taking stupid penalties, and overall game-sense while not defending need to be learned. If Warren can take that leap and figure out the details for the other half of the ice there is a lot to like about this QMJHL product.

Sam Cosentino has Warren ranked the highest at 32nd overall, and Smaht Scouting had him ranked the lowest at 87th among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Christian Kyrou

71Christian KyrouDErie OttersOHL16-Sep-035’10”172R6818426044

Christian Kyrou is an OHL prospect who can only be viewed as one of the biggest breakout stories of this draft year. After getting left off the scoresheet in his entire first OHL season of 21 games, Kyrou had to face an entire season of no hockey due to the OHL’s COVID-19 shutdown. This season, he broke onto the scene and put up an astounding 60 points in 68 games from the Otters’ blueline. A truly talented offensive defenceman when it comes to IQ on the attack, Kyrou is a prospect that has a skill set in which the Calgary Flames could greatly use to restock their diminishing defencemen cupboards.

At 5’11″ and 183 lbs, Kyrou is a smaller offensive defenceman who, if he can keep scoring and developing, has the potential to be a good puck-moving top-four option in the NHL. He is the younger brother of current NHLer Jordan Kyrou who had a breakout season this year with 75 points in 74 games at the highest level. Christian Kyrou will most likely be back next year playing with Erie Otters, with the ambition of once again scoring in piles and developing further in his D+1 season. 

Kyrou demonstrated this last season that his hockey IQ is extremely high. He was always in the perfect position for the pass, or the shot, and used his skating and edge-work to regularly box out defenders and read the opponents’ play and make the stop in the D-Zone. Kyrou is fluid and executes at a high speed which can leave opponents flat-footed or caught on their own blue-line during zone entries. On a nightly basis, Kyrou demonstrated his immense upside due to the many tools at his disposal.

Kyrou just needs to work on consistency in the defensive game. As a high flying offensive defenceman this season, there were many instances where Kyrou would get caught while in the opponent’s zone and be forced to scramble back up the ice to attempt to break up odd-man rushes.

Despite making some brilliant plays, there are still quite common lapses which would get him labeled by viewers as a one dimensional offensive defenceman. He truly does demonstrate the hockey IQ to be more than that in the OHL though, and that will be his biggest asset at the next levels.  

If Kyrou can refine the consistency and few lapses in his defensive game he can truly develop into something special in the NHL. He has the upside of a potential top pairing offensive D-man in the big leagues. If he can continue his breakout and dominate the OHL again next year, he will be an asset you don’t want to miss out on in the 2022 NHL Draft. 

TSN’s Craig Button has Kyrou ranked the highest at 36th overall, and Corey Pronman had him ranked the lowest at 83rd among the experts considered in our consolidated rankings.

Who do you think the Flames should target if these five are available when their up to select in the second round? Let us know on twitter @wincolumnCGY.

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