If the Calgary Flames are to make any kind of impression at the 2010 Entry Draft, they are going to have to do it by making clever trades on the draft floor.
The Flames aren’t scheduled to make a selection until the third round of this year’s annual talent tussle. By that time, 63 other prime prospects will have been chosen by Calgary’s adversaries.
It’s unlikely the club will attempt to move up in the drafting order since they have few bargaining chips at their disposal and the possibility of Darryl Sutter orchestrating another draft day deal like the one that delivered Jay Bouwmeester seem slim.
The Flames do have seven selections in the last four rounds of the draft - and, while there are some gems that can be found in the later rounds, the process of progression can be long, painstaking and fraught with frustration.
The club traded their first round rights (13th overall) to Phoenix in the deal that brought Olli Jokinen to the team at the 2009 trade deadline – a transaction that eventually proved to be a calamitous move by the team.
Jokinen never adjusted to the Sutter system and was eventually dispatched to Broadway for another under-achiever Ales Kotalik, who still has another full year on his contract, so he’ll be wearing the flaming “C” next season.
Calgary also traded their second round selection (43rd overall) to the Chicago Blackhawks in the deal that brought Rene Bourque to the Stampede City, a trade that has paid rich dividends for the club. In actuality, the team also swapped their third round selection as well, sending the 73rd overall choice to Edmonton for Steve Staios. The Flames did receive a third round pick from Columbus for Anton Stralman.
I’ll provide a peek at the “best of the less” – those players residing deep under the radar that may provide a spark to the club and should be available by the time the Flames come up to the podium – later in the week.