Being the general manager of two teams at once was definitely a challenge. Okay, maybe I’m milking it a little bit considering it was a mock draft and I didn’t actually draft any players. But after Brandt Clarke fell into my lap when I drafted for the Los Angeles Kings, I knew I’d have to put a little more effort into my pick with the Calgary Flames. Fabian Lysell, Kent Johnson, and Sebastian Cossa followed Clarke, and I was left with some options at 12th overall.
Chaz Lucius, Cole Sillinger, Matthew Coronato, and Carson Lambos were all intriguing names that were still available, but there was one player that stuck out among the rest. Truthfully, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. With the 12th pick in the 2021 THW Mock NHL Draft, on behalf of the Calgary Flames, I selected defenseman Simon Edvinsson from Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).
What Edvinsson Brings to the Flames
Edvinsson is the definition of a boom-or-bust prospect. However, I feel like he’s got a pretty high floor. At one point, he was one of the top-ranked defensemen in the draft, and I don’t know that I see him slipping out of the top 10. But as each general manager made their pick, and Edvinsson slipped further and further, I had to jump on the pick when I was on the clock.
The first thing you’ll notice about Edvinsson is his size. The Swedish blueliner stands at 6-foot-5 and 203 pounds, and he’s hard to miss on the ice when he has skates on. He’s very reliable defensively and has some high hockey IQ, but questions about his upside have seen his draft stock plummet a little bit.
Like I said before, what Edvinsson does have going for him is the fact that he has a high floor. On the off chance his upside falters and he doesn’t exactly live up to the hype of a first-round pick, he’s got the make to be a reliable defenseman at the NHL level. Obviously, the Flames would hope this isn’t the outcome, but it would probably provide a little extra comfort drafting him.
The beauty of the situation is that if Edvinsson figures out his upside, the Flames have a potential top-two defenseman on their hands. His size, mobility, and two-way game have drawn comparisons to Tampa Bay Lightning star Victor Hedman, and if Edvinsson turns out to be even half of what Hedman is, they’ll be happy.
Edvinsson Could Recieve the Torch From Giordano
Another aspect that played into my decision to select Edvinsson on behalf of the Flames is the fact that Mark Giordano isn’t getting any younger. The Flames’ captain will turn 38 in October, and with fellow defenseman Juuso Valimaki looking promising on the back end, having a one-two punch with Valimaki and Edvinsson on the left side of the defensive corps could be lethal.
The Flames have some other intriguing defensive prospects to the likes of Yan Kuznetsov and Connor Mackey, but they don’t really have a blue chip option up the left side. Edvinsson would be just that, and he would be a stellar add to the Flames’ back end.
Again, this is all hypothetical, but if a player like Edvinsson is available at 12th overall when the Flames pick, they should no doubt select him. It’s one of those situations where you’re likely getting a guaranteed NHL player, and the potential reward of him becoming an all-situations, top-pairing defenseman is well worth the risk of capping it at a reliable, bottom-pairing defenseman.
Alex Hobson is a third year broadcasting student at Niagara College. He has been writing about sports since 2005 and has been with The Hockey Writers since October of 2020. He covers the Toronto Maple Leafs, World Juniors, and the NHL Entry Draft, and is also part of the Maple Leafs Lounge Podcast, presented by THW. For interview requests or any other inquiries, you can follow Alex’s social media pages listed at the bottom of his articles like this one.