Flames 2022 Free Agents, Draft Targets, Offseason Guide After NHL Playoff Loss

Erin WalshContributor IMay 27, 2022

Flames 2022 Free Agents, Draft Targets, Offseason Guide After NHL Playoff Loss

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    Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

    The Calgary Flames were eliminated from the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night with 5-4 overtime loss to end their championship pursuit in the second round.

    Edmonton won the series 4-1 after Calgary beat the Dallas Stars in seven games during the opening round.

    The Flames had put together their best regular season since 2018-19. Calgary finished first in the Pacific Division with a 50-21-11 record and third place overall in the Western Conference. 

    The Flames are now likely to see some significant roster turnover this offseason. Let's take a look at their free agents, draft targets and what to expect moving forward.

Free Agents

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Matthew Tkachuk (RFA), Johnny Gaudreau (UFA), Andrew Mangiapane (RFA), Ryan Carpenter (UFA), Calle Jarnkrok (UFA), Brett Ritchie (UFA), Adam Ruzicka (RFA), Trevor Lewis (UFA), Nikita Zadorov (UFA), Erik Gudbranson (UFA), Michael Stone (UFA), Oliver Kylington (RFA)


    This offseason is going to be a significant one for Calgary. With a number of key players set to hit free agency, it could be a very different team in 2022-23. The biggest players the franchise will look to re-sign include Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Nikita Zadorov. 

    Gaudreau is arguably the most significant of Calgary's free agents. He has been a key contributor for the Flames since the 2014-15 season, but he had a career year in 2021-22, tallying 40 goals and 75 assists for 115 points in 82 games.

    That said, the 28-year-old is due for a significant pay raise, and it remains to be seen whether the team is willing to pay him as one of the premier wingers in the NHL

    It will be a little easier for the Flames to retain Tkachuk as they'll be able to match any offer sheet he receives as a restricted free agent. There's no question the franchise will want to retain the 2016 sixth overall pick this summer. 

    The 24-year-old has improved in each season since breaking into the team during the 2016-17 campaign. However, he had a career year in 2021-22, tallying 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points in 82 games. 

    Mangiapane, meanwhile, also had a breakout 2021-22 season, finishing with 35 goals and 20 assists for 55 points in 82 games. Based on his production over the last three seasons, the 26-year-old is due for a raise, and it will be difficult for the Flames to retain him in free agency. 

    On the defensive side of things, Zadorov, 27, has been in the NHL since 2013-14, and his veteran presence at the blue line would be welcomed if he returned to Calgary for the 2022-23 season and beyond.

2022 Draft Targets

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    Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

    The Flames have just three selections in the 2022 draft.

    Calgary traded its first-round pick for Tyler Toffoli, its third-round pick for Dan Vladar, its fourth-round pick for Tyler Pitlick and its sixth-round pick in a deal that sent Sam Bennett to the Florida Panthers

    Here's a look at the team's selections in the upcoming draft:

    • One second-round pick

    • One fifth-round pick

    • One seventh-round pick

    Calgary could still get a solid player in the second round, especially with guys such as Noah Warren, Otto Salin and Hunter Haight potentially available at that point. 

    Warren spent the 2021-22 season with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL and had five goals and 19 assists in 59 games. The 6'5", 214-pound defender would be a solid addition following the departure of Mark Giordano.

    Salin, who is also a defender, spent the 2021-22 season with HIFK U20 in Finland and notched four goals and eight assists in 11 games. He is great in the offensive zone and can get shots through traffic. And while he has a different style to Warren, he would still be an interesting addition. 

    Haight, a center, spent last year with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. He finished with 22 goals and 19 assists in 61 games.

Free-Agent Targets

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    Mark LoMoglio/Getty Images

    The Flames should focus on retaining their own players this summer, but they can also look toward a pretty solid free-agent market.

    Filip Forsberg, Ondrej Palat and Claude Giroux could become some veteran targets for Calgary. 

    Forsberg tallied 42 goals and 42 assists for 84 points in 69 games with the Nashville Predators during the 2021-22 season. He'd be a solid replacement for Gaudreau if he leaves in free agency. But even if Gaudreau doesn't leave, Forsberg should still be a target for the Flames. 

    Palat, meanwhile, tallied 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 77 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has been a consistent performer on offense throughout his career and would be a welcome addition to the Calgary offense.

    Landing Giroux seems like a stretch, but it is a possibility. The 34-year-old remains one of the most productive forwards in the NHL and finished the 2021-22 season with 21 goals and 44 assists for 65 points in 75 games between the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers.