A few weeks ago, team writers from The Hockey Writers took part in a seven-round mock draft. I had the pleasure of selecting for the Calgary Flames. The Flames had picks in every round except for the third.
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Although the draft order will not be the same as what we at THW went with, it was still fun to see how everyone drafted and what they saw as the best fit for their respective teams. We enjoyed the banter while making our selections and it kept everyone’s mind sane during these difficult times. Enjoy our thoughts and analysis on the Flames selections for The Hockey Writers Mock Draft!
First Round – 16th overall
Jack Quinn – RW
- Age: 18
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 176 pounds
- Ottawa 67’s (OHL): 62 GP – 52 G – 37 A – 89 PTS
The Flames don’t have many glaring issues as a team that consistently makes the playoffs but no team can ever have enough goal scoring. Although the Flames have a great top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm, having someone who could play alongside Matthew Tkachuk would be great. Enter Jack Quinn.
Quinn is a guy that can score from anywhere in the offensive zone. He has a knack for being in the right space at the right time and is able to get a shot off in no time. Although the Ottawa 67’s were very good this past season, there is denying the fact that Quinn took a step in his development. There is no doubt he will need to develop his play away from the puck but he has the tools to make it to the NHL. He would be a great fit on the Flames power-play unit.
Dominic Triano from OHL Writers had this to say about Quinn:
“Quinn has a lethal shot with an uncanny knack for disguising his release. He’s also capable of beating goaltenders with it. To go along with his high IQ, Quinn also has some excellent vision. He digests the situation quickly and like a chess master is able to think ahead. But he’s also able to slow things down and let an opportunity open up. His playmaking skills may be underrated.”
Josh Bell’s Take
This is about where I can see Quinn going, but it’s a bit higher than I’d take him. Keep in mind that Quinn is one of the older players in this class, and he was on a stacked 67’s team. That being said, the step forward that he took when given the opportunity can’t be ignored and his high-end shot is real. He could be a great addition to the Flames system as they look for goal scoring.
Second Round – 47th Overall
Thomas Bordeleau – C
- Age: 18
- Height: 5’9″
- Weight: 179 pounds
- U.S. National U18 Team (USDP): 47 GP – 16 G – 30 A – 46 PTS
- USNTDP Juniors (USHL): 19 GP – 7 G – 11 A – 18 PTS
With Quinn being drafted in the first round, I thought I would take someone who has great vision and would be a potential set-up man for Quinn. I present to you: Thomas Bordeleau.
Related: Flames Should Keep Ward as Coach
Although Bordeleau only stands at 5’9″, Flames fans do not have to look far to see that height doesn’t matter if you have great skill. Gaudreau is an elite player who uses his skill and vision to make plays on a nightly basis. Bordeleau loves to set his teammates up and does so with ease. He uses his skill to create time and space and draws defenders in with him.
Bordeleau is also not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the game. He battles hard and comes out of the corners with the puck more often than not. He has great lower-body strength, making him hard to knock off the puck. He can drive the net and is known for banging home loose pucks in and around the net.
Like Quinn, Bordeleau will need some time to round out his game. Committed to the University of Michigan next season, he will be able to do just that while playing against some of the best competition in the country. Some people may always question his size, but I have no doubt he will be a great NHL player one day.
“The commitment to get inside on people when he has the puck and when they have the puck,” Appert said. “That’s a part of his game that has grown tremendously, especially in the (age) 18 year. He has the mind and the stick skills and the vision to be an elite offensive player. But as a centerman, if you don’t want to possess the puck when we have it and get it back when they have it, then you’re not going to be an elite player in today’s game. He’s really grown in that. … As Thomas has gained confidence and strength, he’s so strong on his skates that he’s very good down there (low in the offensive zone). Just a matter of understanding and gaining confidence in how to play that way.”
Josh Bell’s Take
The Flames landed a goal scorer in round one with Quinn, and now they land someone to feed him the puck in Bordeleau. He can shoot it himself, but his vision on the ice might see him as more of a playmaker at the NHL level. He’s a borderline first-rounder for me, and landing him at 47 is a great pick up for Calgary.
Fourth Round – 96th Overall
Nico Daws – G
- Age: 19
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 203 pounds
- Guelph Storm (OHL): 38 GP – 23 W – 8 L – 6 OTL – 2.48 GAA – .924 SV%
With Nico Daws available at this selection, I simply could not pass on him. With him being ranked the best North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting and the lack of goalie depth in the Flames system, it was a match made in heaven.
Although Daws was passed on last year, there is no doubt he will be selected before the fourth round in real life. He has the perfect frame for an NHL goalie today, standing at 6’4″ and he has great potential to become a starter in the future.
Daws moves really well in his crease. He glides effortlessly from post to post and is able to make highlight-reel plays look easy. He has good rebound control and is rarely caught out of position. He is calm under pressure and is able to make a play with the puck when he leaves his net.
While the Flames are solid in net for the near future, with David Rittich and Cam Talbot, their future in net looks unclear. Although they have prospects like Jon Gillies and Tyler Parsons in their system, both of them have not fared well playing in the minors. With the selection of Daws, they have a goalie with lots of raw ability to work with and they can monitor his development closely. The chance that he becomes an NHL starter in the future is very high.
Mark Scheig here at The Hockey Writers had this to say about Daws:
“What stands out about Daws is his control of the situation. He makes difficult saves look easy. He plays his position well and is able to go side-to-side in a quick manner. You almost have to be perfect in order to beat him. Plus he has a lightning quick glove.”
Josh Bell’s Take
The Flames stole Dustin Wolf with the 214th pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. This one’s a bit higher, but it could very well be a steal as well. Daws may be an overager but let’s be honest – goalies are weird (I say that as a former goalie). They develop at weird times and they can be tough to judge how they will develop. Last year, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team willing to take a flyer on Daws. This year? He could be one of the first few goalies off the board. He’s great positionally, he has NHL size, and there’s a chance he could have some big potential. I think he’s a bit of a risk, but with Wolf looking like a solid goalie prospect, it’s alright to take a riskier pick on a goalie here.
Fifth Round – 140th Overall
Marko Stacha – D
- Age: 18
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 190 pounds
- Team Slovakia U18 (Slovakia U20): 1 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
- HK Dukla Trencin U20 (Slovakia U20): 3 GP – 0 G – 2 A – 2 PTS
- HK Dukla Trencin (Slovakia): 48 GP – 2 G – 4 A – 6 PTS
While many people may not have heard about Marko Stacha, he is a solid stay-at-home defenseman. The Flames have good defensemen playing in the NHL right now but many of them are primed to leave via free agency next season. That brings forth the need to draft and restock the pipeline as soon as possible.
Stacha can help that cause as he does every little thing right. He will not go out and get you a ton of points, but he is a reliable presence on the ice and he rarely makes bad decisions. He is not afraid to stick up for his teammates and is more than capable of clearing the front of the net of any danger imposed.
I find that Stacha would be a really good fit for the Flames system. He has good mobility and can make a play when needed. He makes a good first pass out of the defensive zone to his forwards and has shown progress playing against men this past season. He will need to develop in Slovakia for a couple of years, but he has the potential to become a fifth or sixth defender at the NHL level.
In a piece before last year’s World Juniors, Steven Ellis of The Hockey News had this to say about Stacha:
“Stacha is a late-bloomer in comparison, but he has shown great progress in the Slovakian league and could progress up the lineup as the tournament goes on.”
Josh Bell’s Take
Stacha could be an interesting pick. He’s already playing in a men’s league in Slovakia, and while that’s not exactly to the level of the SHL or the Liiga, it’s still a men’s league. Stacha earned his spot there and ran with it, playing 48 games this season. Just as Mathieu says, he’s a reliable defender. He’s not going to show up in highlight reels, but he’ll be dependable and able to play in any situation he’s asked to. He was a top-three player on his team at the World Juniors, so it’s very likely some teams – maybe the Flames – took notice.
6th Round – 171st Overall
Luke Prokop – D
- Age: 18
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 218 pounds
- Calgary Hitmen (WHL): 59 GP – 4 G – 19 A – 23 PTS
Like Stacha, many people may not have heard of Luke Prokop but that is sure to change in the next few seasons. Standing at 6’4″, he is a big-bodied defenseman who is good at closing his gaps in the defensive zone and can contribute on offence when needed.
As the Flames will be needing defensemen – as I mentioned above – Prokop would be a great option down the road. He loves to use his frame to win battles in the corners and is great at clearing the front of the net of any danger. He is good at breaking up passes and has a good first breakout pass.
Prokop will certainly need to work on his skating, but he has the potential to develop into a solid defender at the next level. Any player who stands at 6’4″ has a good chance at making the next level simply due to their size. Pair that with some skill and quick decision making and you have yourself a solid defensive prospect in your system.
Bill Placzek of the DraftSite had this to say on Prokop:
“Big throwback defender who takes his job in his end very seriously. Has some mobility and excellent footwork for a bigger man.”
Josh Bell’s Take
A similar player to Stacha, Prokop is a defence-first player with the size and strength to make his presence known on the ice. That being said, he knows how to chip in offensively, too. He has a good shot and makes a solid first pass. These two defenders taken back-to-back are a bit of a risk for sure, as they’ll need to round out their games to succeed at the next level. For Prokop, his play in his own end will likely be a driving force in getting him to that next level.
7th Round – 202nd Overall
Kristian Tanus – C/W
- Age: 19
- Height: 5’8″
- Weight: 159 pounds
- Tappara U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga): 7 GP – 2 G – 7 A – 9 PTS
- Tappara (Liiga): 1 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
- Jukurit (Liiga): 24 GP – 2 G – 6 A – 8 PTS
- KOOVEE (Mestis): 2 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
With the last selection for the Flames in the mock draft, I felt it only right to take Kristian Tanus. Although he only stands 5’8″, he has immense skill and a knack for the big stage. He shows up when it matters most and that is something that you cannot teach.
Playing for Finland on the international stage this past season, Tanus collected 21 points in 13 games and made his impact felt. He has great vision and can set up his teammates with ease. He is not afraid to drive the net with the puck on his stick and often gets rewarded for his efforts. He is also a great skater. He uses his speed to his advantage and can change directions on a dime.
While Tanus was passed on last year, he has proven that he at least warrants someone to take a chance on him. He will still need to develop and put on more weight but he should be able to make a transition to the North American game pretty fast. I felt like he would be a good fit for the Flames as they have numerous small players and Tanus’ game is similar to the system that they use.
Josh Bell’s Take
The Flames take a second overager in Tanus, and while it’s another boom-or-bust pick, at this range, it’s alright for the team to take a chance. He brings a good all-round package to his game, providing offense and holding his own in the defensive end. I think there are some questions about whether or not he’d be able to step to the next level or the Liiga is his ceiling, but with the Flames assisting in his development, who knows. He likely wouldn’t be more than a depth forward, but this is a good risk to take at this spot.
If the Flames manage to get a few of these players then they will have had a successful draft. Although they do not have a lot of picks, I tried to draft someone at every position so that their pipeline can improve everywhere. They get goal-scoring in Quinn, playmaking in Tanus and Bordeleau, solid defensive prospects in Stacha and Prokop and a potential starter in Daws.
All in all, I had a lot of fun making the Flames picks and I would do it over again in a heartbeat. Let me know what you think down below! Did I pick someone too high? What would you have done?