The Calgary Flames added a good player to their gradually-improving prospect base on Tuesday, announcing they had acquired center Corban Knight from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Knight, 22, grew up in the Calgary area – primarily in nearby High River, Alberta – and played his junior hockey in the Calgary suburb of Okotoks. He was drafted by the Panthers in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL Draft and spent the last four seasons with the University of North Dakota, where he amassed 146 points over 161 games and won three conference championships. He was a finalist for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award this season – along with Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau.
Knight’s acquisition represents the team filling a huge need – a big-bodied center who can win face-offs – but also stands as one of the few occasions in recent memory when Flames general manager Jay Feaster executed a plan to perfection. Since his arrival in Calgary, Feaster has attempted to acquire – according to media accounts – Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Justin Schultz, Ryan O’Reilly and, most recently, the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
Seemingly a fan of bold moves designed to improve his club, Feaster has unfortunately whiffed on a lot of these home-run swings. All of his previous attempts to bring in key assets resulted in them going to another team (or staying put). Proving he’s most definitely not taking after notorious Roman emperor Nero (and fiddling while his city burns), Feaster has once again attempted a bold personnel move in an effort to improve his hockey club.
This time, he finally got his man.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.