With the recent announcement that the 2020 NHL Entry Draft will be held on Oct. 6 and 7, the Calgary Flames have just under a month to finalize their plan. The draft is crucial to helping bad teams get better, and can allow the best teams to stay atop the league.
The Flames have made some great picks over the years, but they also have selected some flops. As a result, they are now in a tough spot; they are a good team but have yet to become a great one. This draft is very important for general manager Brad Treliving and his staff because it is one of the deepest in recent memory. With the 19th overall pick, they have many great options to choose from, none better than the five below.
Tyson Foerster, RW
- Team: Barrie Colts, OHL
- Stats: 62 games played (GP), 36 goals (G), 44 assists (A)
After a slow rookie season with the Barrie Colts of the OHL in which he put up just 23 points in 64 games, Tyson Foerster showed everyone what he was capable of during the 2019-20 season. The Alliston, Ontario native was a monster, leading the team in goals with 36 as well as points with 80. What makes this even more remarkable is that he did it virtually by himself; the next highest scorer on the Colts was Aidan Brown with 47 points.
Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide
While Foerester will need time to work on his skating, and particularly his speed, there is no denying what a tremendous goal scorer he is. He is also considered a solid defensive player, which makes him all the more exciting. Flames fans should be thrilled if they hear his name called on draft day.
Dawson Mercer, RW
- Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs/Chicoutimi Sagueneens, QMJHL
- Stats: 42 GP, 24 G, 36 A
There has been wide debate about when Dawson Mercer will be taken in the draft; some believe he could be a top-15 pick while others have him around the 19th spot where the Flames are set to pick. If the option is there, they would be wise to take the Bay Roberts, Newfoundland native.
The 2019-20 season marked Mercer’s third in the QMJHL. It began with the only team he had played for in the league, the Drummondville Voltigeurs, but he was traded during the season to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Even though he didn’t put up the same offensive production after the trade, he is an extremely talented player, and made Team Canada’s roster for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship where he helped them win a gold medal.
Lukas Cormier, D
- Team: Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL
- Stats: 44 GP, 6 G, 30 A
Years ago, a 5-foot-10 defenceman would likely not been drafted, let alone selected in the first round. Thankfully, height is no longer as much of a deterrent. A perfect example of how good smaller defencemen can be in today’s NHL is the Vancouver Canucks’, Quinn Hughes. At 5-foot-10, he was recently named a Calder Trophy finalist after a sensational rookie season in 2019-20.
While Cormier may not become as dominant as Hughes, the left-shot defenceman has strong offensive skills. In his second season with the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL, he posted an impressive 36 points in 44 games. Considering the Flames’ top offensive defenceman, Mark Giordano, is now 36-years-old, Cormier could be of major use to them in a few years.
Mavrik Bourque, C
- Team: Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL
- Stats: 49 GP, 29 G, 42 A
Shawinigan Cataractes centerman Mavrik Bourque followed up a very impressive 54-point rookie season with an incredible 29 goals and 71 points in 49 games in 2019-20. He tied Xavier Bourgault for the team lead in points despite playing in 14 fewer games. Simply put, he is offensively gifted.
If Bourque has one flaw, it is that he is slightly undersized at 5-foot-10 and 178 pounds. However, he will be able to put on weight in the next few years. Regardless, on top of his excellent offensive abilities, he is very solid in his own end and an excellent skater. He would be a fantastic pick for the Flames.
- Team: Munich EHC, DEL
- Stats: 42 GP, 7 G, 4 A
German-born forward John-Jason Peterka is one of the most interesting prospects in the upcoming draft. He may not have stats that jump off the page, but he was playing in the DEL, Germany’s top league, as a 17- 18-year-old which is impressive. Peterka showed how capable he is against players his own age at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, posting four goals and six points in seven games for Team Germany.
While his defensive game is a work in progress, Peterka displays all the qualities of a future offensive star. On top of a great shot and good speed, he also possesses fantastic hands which allows him to make big plays at top speed.
Related: Maple Leafs’ Top 5 Prospects
Selecting him 19th overall would be slightly ahead of where he is projected on most lists, he has an extremely high ceiling and could become a very impactful player for the Flames in the future.
2020 Draft Talent
Regardless of whether the Flames land one of the players listed above or not, they will likely end up with a very good player. The 2020 Draft has been raved about for its depth, meaning that Calgary could select a future superstar with their pick. Of course, whoever they choose will likely need a few more years of development before they are ready to become full-time NHLer, but it should be a very exciting draft for Flames fans and for the future of the franchise.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.