Day 2 of the Calgary Flames at the 2023 NHL Draft, oh what to say.
As usual, a lot of the excitement at the draft comes Day 1, when the first round is staged in prime time and all that.
The Flames took Samuel Honzek with their first-round pick, No. 16 overall, on Wednesday night in Nashville. The Slovakian played in the WHL last season with the Vancouver Giants. He likes to compare himself to Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl.
If that’s the type of player Honzek becomes some day for Calgary, then fantastic. Who wouldn’t want one of the best players in the league centering one of their top lines?
But that was Round 1. Rounds 2-7 are different animals. That’s when NHL teams’ scouting staffs are put to the test.
And remember, the 2023 draft is considered a deep one, too, the deepest since the 2015 haul that saw the likes of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, current Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin (who went fifth overall to Carolina), Mitch Marner, Timo Meier, Mikko Rantanen, Matthew Barzal, Thomas Chabot, Kyle Connor, Brock Boeser and Travis Konecny all taken in Round 1.
The Flames didn’t have a first-round pick in 2015 as they traded it to the Boston Bruins as a part of the deal that landed them Dougie Hamilton (Boston selected Zachary Senyshyn with that pick at No. 15).
Flames scouting did a bang-up job in the later rounds that year, though. They did make out like thieves by selecting Rasmus Andersson (Round 2, 53rd overall), Oliver Kylington (Round 2, 60th overall) and Andrew Mangiapane (Round 6, 166th overall).
In all, they made five picks in that draft. This year, the Flames had six. If the players chosen pan out like the Class of 2015 — to have the second comings of Andersson, Magiapane and Kylinington in their system — it would be a real plus.
Flames 2023 draft pick list
|1||16||Samuel Honzek||C/LW||6'3, 195 lb||Slovakia||Vancouver (WHL)|
|2||48||Etienne Morin||D||6'0, 180 lb||Canada||Moncton (QMHL)|
|3||80||Aydar Suniev||LW||6'2, 192 lb||Russia||Penticton (BCHL)|
|4||112||Jaden Lipinski||C||6'4, 210 lb||USA||Vancouver (WHL)|
|6||176||Yegor Yegorov||G||6'3, 183 lb||Russia||Dynamo ( Jr.)|
|7||208||Axel Hurtig||D||6'4, 202 lb||Sweden||Rogle (Jr.)|