The NHL Draft starts on Thursday with the first round, and continues on Friday with rounds two through seven. If the Calgary Flames keep their second-round pick, their first pick in this year’s draft will come late in the round.
All hockey fans will know that the biggest name in this draft is Shane Wright, and that there are some pretty talented players in the first round, but what about the second round? With the 59th pick, the Flames will definitely be looking for a diamond in the rough when they are up to draft, so who might some of these players be?
|37||Lane Hutson||D||USNTDP Juniors||USHL||2004-02-14||5’8″||159||L||27||6||26||32||20|
Lane Hutson is ranked at #37 on our consolidated rankings. However, one thing we know and see all too often during NHL drafts is that smaller players always seem to fall in the draft. Flames fans saw this recently with Jeremie Poirier and Dustin Wolf. Will Hutson be the next one? He has been described as being an excellent skater who has the ability to accelerate to peak speeds. Additionally, he is known to have very strong vision with his passing ability.
Hutson’s strengths are very well known, as at the World Under-18 Championship, he was awarded the tournament’s best defenceman.
His offensive abilities are no secret, however, I would not be surprised to see teams pass on him during the draft due to concerns about his size when it comes to playing at the NHL level. Scouts may feel that the offence is there however the lack of size may lead to a struggle to handle the physicality of the NHL.
Personally, I believe we have seen this film way too many times when it comes to smaller players. They are taken late, and once they start lighting up the NHL people wonder “wow why was he taken so late?” Hutson is very talented, and I believe he is a player worth taking a shot on, especially in the mid to late second round.
|48||Rieger Lorenz||C||Okotoks Oilers||AJHL||2004-03-30||6’2″||194||L||60||38||47||85||54|
Rieger Lorenz is ranked at #48 on our consolidated rankings. He was born in Calgary and was the highest-scoring player in the AJHL at his age. In fact, Lorenz scored 26 more points than the next highest scorer on his team. Lorenz is a very quick skater who is strong on his skates. With his size, his ability to speed past the opposition on the rush with his skating is very impressive.
In addition to his offensive abilities, Lorenz’s two-way game is quite strong as well. Lorenz spent time on the penalty kill and that has helped him develop his defensive awareness. Oh, and his large frame definitely helps with that too.
Although Lorenz is ranked at #48, scouts and general managers may look at the AJHL and pass on Lorenz because the competition isn’t as tough as the CHL. Though that isn’t necessarily wrong, I believe Lorenz in the second round is great value.
One notable player who was selected recently out of the AJHL was Dylan Holloway who was selected 14th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. Holloway played 53 games and registered 40 goals and 48 assists to give him 88 points. Lorenz has similar numbers with seven more games played.
I am not saying that Lorenz is just as good as Holloway, however, finding similar production in the late second round might be too good of an opportunity to pass up.
|71||Christian Kyrou||D||Erie Otters||OHL||2003-09-16||5’10”||172||R||68||18||42||60||44|
Christian Kyrou is ranked at #71 in our consolidated rankings. Kyrou is one of the best offensive defencemen in the draft. Kyrou’s offensive skills are extremely impressive, as he is able to jump into the rush and set up plays as a defenceman. He has great offensive instincts and was the quarterback of Erie’s power play as a result. Kyrou is not shy to get shots on the goal, as he registered the third most goals in the league among defencemen, and he registered the fourth most points.
It’s clear Kyrou has the offence, but his defensive work could be improved. Especially due to his smaller frame, Kyrou is vulnerable to allowing offensive chances to get by him. Partly due to his smaller size, but also due to some lapses in defensive awareness. However, this is not new for young offensive defencemen, as when players are aggressive and thinking offence, a simple pinch might lead to a rush the other way.
Despite this, Kyrou seems to have a lot of upside for a player who will likely be available in the second round. There is still lots of time for Kyrou to develop and improve his defensive game, and if he is able to figure it out, Kyrou might be the biggest steals of this draft.
Flames have decisions to make
Outside of the top three picks, nobody really knows where certain players will be selected. There is a lot of uncertainty about this year’s draft, which could lead to some great opportunities for the Flames. Will they trade down and acquire multiple picks? Or will Brad Treliving decide to stick with the picks he has? So much is up in the air for this year’s draft, and it will be really interesting to see how not only the Flames, but every team approaches the draft.