Flames Draft Day One Recap: Jankowski And Other Notes

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

By Ryan Holmer (@RyanHolmerNHL)

Day one is completed, and the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft was interesting to say the least.

Several trades highlighted the evening, as Pittsburgh traded Jordan Staal to Carolina in exchange for Brandon Sutter, the eighth overall selection, and Brian Doumulin. The Washington Capitals acquired Mike Ribeiro for Cody Eakin and the 54th overall pick this year. The Isles also got the better of a deal, acquiring Lubomir Vishnovksy from Anaheim for a second-round pick next season.

The first round was full of off-the-board selections. Anaheim at sixth selected Hampus Lindholm, shocking many. According to Pierre McGuire, he could be the steal of the draft. The biggest leap was the Pittsburgh Penguins taking Derrick Pouliot, a very skilled defenseman ranked top 25. To use a top-10 pick on him is a bit risky.  The Tampa Bay Lightning made an excellent pick, choosing Slater Koekkoek at 10th overall. Injuries hampered his season, but Koekkoek is one of the best defensemen in the draft. He is a fierce competitor, with a good offensive and defensive game.  The Senators, again chose a good player with their mid-round pick, selecting Cody Ceci. Very skilled offensively, and an excellent skater, Ceci is likely to get a shot at cracking the Sens’ lineup next season.

The Flames’ also made a deal of their own, trading the 14th selection, for the 21st and 42nd. This comes as a shock to most fans, as Flames’ GM, Feaster said numerous times that they intend to win now, and draft the best player available. The best player available at the time, was Teuvo Teravainen.  Even after making the trade, the Flames’ could have selected Olli Maatta, the NHL-ready defensemen.

Nonetheless, the trade happened – and the Flames’ jumped off the board…Big time. With the 21st overall selection, Calgary selected Mark Jankowski, a 17-yr old, playing tier two high school hockey, A big risk, but with a very high upside – Jankowski is likely three-four years away from playing in the NHL.

According to Calgary Flames assistant GM of player personal, John Weisbrod, three other teams were interested in Jankowski, wanting him in the first round.

Jankowski has drawn two comparisons so far from scouts around the league.  John Weisbrod compares him to Joe Nieuwendyk – a stiff comparison, but the kid has time. He was also compared to Jamie Benn, a tall, smooth skating player with good hands, vision, and plays with a physical edge.

We likely will not be able to comment on this pick for another few years. As the Flames were trying to win now, it is a bit of a shock to me. However, Calgary does not have a deep prospect system, and the cupboards need to be stocked.

Next Round

The Calgary Flames’ next selection is 42nd overall – which they received in the Buffalo trade. Below, are several forwards that may fall onto the Flames’ lap.

– Matt Finn : Surprised that he’s still available. Was projected to go in the first round by most. Should go early in the second, but with the way this draft has gone – anything is possible.

– Sebastian Collberg : In my opinion, Collberg is one of the most talented forwards left in the draft. If he falls to Calgary, they can add that much-needed offensive skill to their prospect system, by selecting him.

– Pontus Aberg : Aberg is a fast, skilled shooter with great puck control. Teams looking for a dynamic, skilled forward will take Aberg early on.

– Ludbvig Bystrom : Another first-round talent, still left. Bystrom could jump into the Flames’ lineup next season. A great choice, if he falls to 42.

– Daniil Zharkov : A big, skilled forward with a very high ceiling. Is a risk, though – which is why he was not taken in the first round. As the Flames’ have shown that they are apt for taking risks, this could be a plausible option.


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