The Calgary Flames had a bad year compared to past. They fell just out of the playoffs, saw stars on the decline, and made some questionable trades. The Sutter boys had a rough go, but managed to retain their jobs and will look to make a much better run at it next year.
Some improvements were needed in nearly all aspects of the game, so a good draft was imperative for the Flames if they wanted to fill holes in the lineup. However, the Flames had traded away their picks in the first two rounds, so they had to wait until the 64th overall selection to pick their first player.
That player turned out to be Maxwell Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice. Maxwell has made good strides in the WHL. From a rookie season that only saw him record 27 points in 62 games, he boosted his numbers to 51 points this past season.
He has the hockey sense and intelligence to be a good player, but at this point it is any one's guess at whether he will improve enough to actually make the team. If he grows up in his father Paul's image, however, he should do just fine.
The Flames liked what they saw in Kootenay, so they took Reinhart's teammate Joey Leach nine picks later. Joey Leach is a defenseman who brings more of a physical game to the team than an offensive game.
Leach is big and tough, and he has only improved throughout his career. He will not wow anybody, but he could be a solid second or third pairing kind of defenseman.
The Flames looked to improve the defense some more and selected the son of Rob Ramage, John Ramage.
John could turn out to be a solid player and a bit of a steal in the fourth round. He may not score you a lot of goals or set up a ton of plays, but he will be able to shut down players as he can read situations quite well.
John won a World Juniors with the US team this past winter, and had a good season with the University of Wisconsin.
The best pick of the day for the Flames came in the fourth round when they got forward Bill Arnold of the USA U-18 team. Arnold was ranked 36th among North American skaters, but fell to the Flames who took him 108th overall.
Arnold is very big for his age; he can use that size to his advantage, as he plays that prototypical power forward game. However, he can set up, score, or just mow people down with the best of them.
Flames fans should be very excited with this pick.
The fifth-round selection is a gamble, but why not take a gamble that late. Michael Ferland of the Brandon Wheat Kings has shown flashes of offensive brilliance, but on a very strong Wheat Kings team he barely saw the ice.
Ferland did play a physical game, and has developed nicely into a grinder style of player, and with some offensive potential this may work out to be a good pick.
Finally the Flames took another trip to the Western Hockey League as they took Tri-City Storm forward Patrick Holland. Holland is on the smaller side of the spectrum—at 163 it's likely he needs to put on some pounds to play at the next level.
Holland hasn't shown that he is a particularly gifted forward, but he does bring steady offense. His 36 points don't exactly blow you away, but in his first year in the league, a ton of points isn't exactly expected.
Some potential here, but right now it's a wait and see game.
Offence: B+ , Bill Arnold is an absolute gem of a pick, and should make the team at some point and contribute. Other players like Reinhart and Ferland show some potential as well.
Defence: B , Ramage and Leach both have a strong defensive game, but their two-way game lacks.
Goaltending: F , No goaltenders were drafted.
Overall: B , The lack of a first or second-round pick in a good draft is a stinger, but picking Arnold, and some potential sleepers in Ramage and Leach may turn this draft into a decent one for the Flames.