The Calgary Flames selected eight players in the 2021 NHL Draft, focusing heavily on forwards to replenish their base of scorers throughout the organization’s minor league systems. With five taken overall, Calgary made it clear that assistance on the offensive side is required to boost this roster to the playoff success that Calgary fans are missing.
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Matthew Coronato, RW, Chicago Steel-USHL (Round 1, Pick 13)
William Stromgren, LW, MODO-HockeyAllsvenskan League (Round 2, Pick 45)
Cole Hukins, C, Acadie-Bathurst Titan-QMJHL (Round 3, Pick 77)
Cameron Whynot, D, Halifax Mooseheads-QMJHL (Round 3, Pick 89)
Cole Jordan, D, Moose Jaw Warriors-WHL (Round 5, Pick 141)
Jack Beck Ottawa, W, 67’s-OHL (Round 6, Pick 168)
Lucas Ciona, F, Seattle Thunderbirds-WHL (Round 6, Pick 173)
Aresenii Sergeev, G, Shreveport Mudbuds-NAHL (Round 7, Pick 205)
Best Pick: Matthew Coronato
Coming off a monster season in the USHL, Coronato has provided scouts undeniable evidence that he is an able forward who can crack this Flames roster sooner rather than later. Posting 85 points in 51 games, the young forward shows signs of serious production at the big league level. Look for Coronato to be joining the team in Calgary during the coming years.
Worst Pick: Lucas Ciona
Scouted as a player with a small area of impact on the ice, Ciona has been projected as one of the slower forwards selected by Calgary, with plenty of size, the center doesn’t have the speed to match the other forwards taken in this draft. Although Ciona isn’t known for his puck handling prowess, his ability to create turnovers and set his teammates up may provide him an opportunity with the Flames minor league associates.
Sleeper Pick: Cameron Whynot
Ranked 44th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Whynot has displayed his two-way capabilities on the ice, tallying 23 points in 34 games last year. Of the two defensemen taken in this draft, Whynot looks to be most promising, showcasing his ability to produce on both sides of the ice with a quality outing last season. If improvement can be made on the side of agility and shot-making, this third-round pick could prove to be the steal of this draft.
A forward-heavy draft provides Calgary with a boost of offensive speed and talent in their desperate minor league pipeline. With strong picks like Coronato and Stromgren, the Flames are looking to add depth to their roster and challenge the top players in Calgary’s lineup. Late selections in Ciona and Sergeev may prove to be safe picks for defensive and goalkeeper options in the future, but Coronato and the percentage of forwards selected in this draft will be what Flames fans take away from this summers entry draft.
Follow Mike Quintero on Twitter @MikeInFortWorth
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