The 2022 NHL Draft has come and gone. The Calgary Flames made three selections this year: 59 overall in the second round, 155 overall in the fifth round, and 219 overall in the seventh round. Flames Director of Amateur Scouting Tod Button spoke about the three newest members of the Flames following the second day of the draft in Montreal. Here’s what he had to say about Topi Ronni, Parker Bell, and Cade Littler.
Topi Ronni – C
Top Ronni, well call him a middle-six centre. He’s really responsible positionally and we’re hoping that he gains a little more confidence in making plays offensively to add that to his toolkit. Our Finn [scout Ari Haanpää] lives in the same city he plays in so we feel we knew him really well. He played a lot with the men’s league and we saw him mostly with his national team. We like him. Potential to be a middle-six, 200-foot centre.Tod Button
Parker Bell – LW
Personally I didn’t see Parker play, but our western guys really like him. He’s a big kid, really works hard, they think he’s got a huge ceiling in regards to that he really hasn’t trained a lot as a young kid. They think when he gets exposed to that at a higher level and he commits to it they think he has a lot of room to grow.Tod Button
Cade Littler – C
He’s a big, strong, positional centre. He’s going to go to Mankato State in two years, we believe he’s going to Wenatchee [Wild of the BCHL] again next year. Again, two-way, positional, and he’s a long runway guy but we have time on him.Tod Button
A common theme in the Flames’ draft strategy is relying heavily on regional scouts, and this year was no different. Button didn’t even get to see Bell play this season, but trusted his scouting team in the west. Button also praised his scout in Finland, Ari Haanpää, for the work done to scout Ronni who was the Flames’ first pick in the draft.
This draft wasn’t nearly as clear cut as those in the past have been. Starting from the very first pick, teams were picking off the board, so to speak, and didn’t adhere to any of the big name draft boards, including our consolidated rankings.
With all drafts, time will tell whether this year was a success or not. With just three picks made, the pressure will be higher on these picks to pan out. Hopefully the Flames were able to gain intel other teams weren’t from their regional scouts and find some diamonds in the rough.