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Picking for potential and trading for time

The Calgary Flames completed their 2010 NHL Entry Draft tour of duty with three selections in the final three rounds of the draft and a nifty trade with San Jose that may deliver some much-needed support between the pipes.

With the 108th selection – a pick acquired from the Nashville Predators in the deal that sent Dustin Boyd to Music City, the Flames chose Bill Arnold, a graduate of the US development program who has signed a letter of commitment to attend Boston College.

A 6’, 218-lbs. center who spent the 2009-10 season with the US Under-17 team, Arnold registered 23 points and +15 rating on the plus/minus ladder in 26 games. He has size and strength and a propensity for scoring goals in the dirty areas of the ice. What he lacks in speed and finesse he makes up for with grit and grime.

With their first selection in the fifth round of the annual talent hunt, the Flames plucked left-winger Michael Ferland off the roster of the Brandon Wheat Kings. A standout midget prospect with the Brandon AAA Wheat Kings, Ferland collected 28 points in 61 games with the WHL Wheat Kings during the 2009-10 campaign.

A feisty, competitive winger with a nose for the net and a willingness to drop the mitts and exchange fistic greetings, Ferland is defensively responsible forward with potential and purpose.

Since the club has already informed Vesa Toskala that he is not in their plans for the future and the competitive status of Leland Irving still very much in question, the Flames traded their first pick in the sixth round (163rd overall) to San Jose for goaltender Henrik Karlsson.

An undrafted free agent who was expected to spend the 2010-11 season with Dynamo Riga of the KHL, Karlsson spent the 2009-10 season with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League, compiling a 2.45 goals-against-average and an a lofty .914 save percentage. He’s a veteran netminder with size (6’5”) and experience (ten years of service in Sweden). The contract situation with Riga will pose some problems.

Calgary used their last pick in the draft (193rd overall) to select Patrick Holland, a right winger from Lethbridge, Alberta who spent the 2009-10 campaign with the Tri-City Americans. Slight in size but swift on his skates, Holland had a productive rookie season in the WHL, notching 16 goals and 36 points in 59 games, adding another 10 points in the playoffs. This kid could surprise.

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