Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames need to draft Tij Iginla

The Calgary Flames are not good at hockey right now. They find themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference alongside other Pacific Division teams. Most teams have a silver lining where they can’t possibly have a worse record than the abysmal but historic San Jose Sharks; however, the freefall to the bottom is happening to more teams than just one. The Flames have been sloppy and just haven’t looked good at all, getting bailed out by Jacob Markstrom constantly. With a terrible start and no apparent change for the near future, almost every fan has turned to being on Team Rebuild/Retool, and potentially the team management has too. This has made viewing prospects and draft rankings a highlight for Flames fans this season. Other than the top guys like Macklin Celebrini, one prospect has obviously stuck out to fans and that’s Tij Iginla.

Who is Tij Iginla?

Tij IginlaLW/CLeft6’0″181lbs

His last name is recognizable to hockey fans everyone for obvious reasons. Tij is Flames legend and Hockey Hall of Famer, Jarome Iginla’s oldest son.

Tij Iginla’s career so far

YearDraft RelativeLeagueTeamGPGAP
2021–22D-2CSSHL U18Rink Hockey Academy Kelowna U1832262248
WHLSeattle Thunderbirds3011
2022–23D-1WHLSeattle Thunderbirds4861218
2023–24D+0WHLKelowna Rockets1613821

After being drafted ninth overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2021 WHL Draft, Iginla went to play for the Rink Hockey Academy in Kelowna and lit it up. He scored 26 goals and 22 assists for 48 points in 32 games placing second in team scoring only behind a 14-year-old Gavin McKenna. Iginla had a small stint with the Thunderbirds that year playing three games and picking up a lonely assist. The following season, Iginla was a full-time Thunderbird. This Thunderbirds team was absolutely stacked which meant Iginla received little ice time and even a few healthy scratches as a rookie. Under those circumstances, he scored six goals, added 12 assists, and totalled 18 points in 48 games. Seattle went on to win the WHL championship and lost in the Memorial Cup Final to the Quebec Remparts.

After all the celebrating, the Thunderbirds decided to start their retool and rewarded Iginla with a stronger chance for opportunity, trading him to the Kelowna Rockets in exchange for Grady Lenton, a 2024 first-round pick, and a 2027 second-round pick. So far this move has worked out tremendously well for Iginla. In the first 14 games this season, Iginla is scoring at an almost goal-per-game pace with 13 goals. He also has eight assists, totalling 21 points. This means Iginla already has three more points than last year in 34 fewer games! While held scoreless in the last two games, his hot start has seen him go from a projected second- to third-round pick to a projected first-rounder, even potentially in the earlier half. Iginla is currently ranked 33rd by Consolidated Rankings and 14th by Elite Prospects.

Iginla is an all-around offensive weapon. The main part of his game is his goal-scoring and he has many skills to complement it. The first is his shot, it’s not flashy but it’s quick which makes it easy for him to get the puck past goalies. He relies on his impressive wrist shots and snapshots to find the back of the net. What might be his best trait is his hockey IQ. He has a strong sense of where to be to attack the opposition. He’ll place himself in prime spots to steal the puck, score goals, get breakaways, etc. Then comes his hands and edges which when paired together create some really nice plays. Iginla has great ability with the puck, he’ll toe-drag around opponents, make quick moves that’ll leave players confused, and take on multiple challengers at once. He uses his edges for similar things, quick fake outs, cuts to the net, and in-zone control. Sometimes he tries to do too much and loses the puck, but the skill is obviously there.

Draft Tij Iginla

Tij Iginla is a skilled forward who should be a Flame come draft day. He has a natural knack for goal-scoring and offence that the Flames desperately need. Tij definitely has family ties to the Calgary Flames organization. His dad is Jarome Iginla, the franchise’s greatest player. Jarome is currently serving as the special advisor to the general manager, Craig Conroy. Hopefully, if the Flames do draft Tij, Jarome gets to announce the selection of his son. Drafting Tij would create so many storylines and just have an overall good feel to it whether it be in the first or any other round.

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