The Calgary Flames are coming off of their first 100-plus point season since 2005-06 but had a disappointing showing in the playoffs, getting knocked out by the Colorado Avalanche in round one.
The Flames have done a solid job building their core through the draft. They took Mikael Backlund in 2007, Johnny Gaudreau in 2011, Sean Monahan in 2013, and Matthew Tkachuk in 2016, among others.
In recent years they have loaded up on quality defensemen and need to add some more forwards to their group of prospects. They did not have a first, second or third round pick last year, but did have three fourth rounders. In this year’s draft, they have just three picks: A first (No.26), a third (No.88) and a fifth (No.150). That makes them a candidate to potentially trade back with this pick or just adds pressure to add a dynamic forward.
With the No.26 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Calgary Flames select…
Nils Höglander — LW — Sweden 🇸🇪
For some reason, I have seen the Flames linked to some of the really good defensemen left on the board despite having Juuso Valimaki and Oliver Kylington waiting in the wings. I’ve also seen them linked to Brayden Tracey, but I see Tracey falling to the second-round, especially if Höglander is available at No.26 for the Flames. Höglander is clearly the best forward still available based on this current mock draft and would be a huge addition to the Flames farm system.
Höglander probably has the best hands in the draft. The 5-foot-9, 185 lbs. winger can stickhandle in a phone booth and made veteran players in the SHL look foolish this year. As an 18-year-old, Höglander played a top-9 role with Rögle BK and recorded seven goals with seven assists (14 points) in 50 games.
When you get to the bottom of this write-up and watch the first two minutes of his highlight tape, you’ll see why the Flames can’t pass on this kid. He plays with a lot of pace and seems to have the puck on a string. Could the Flames potentially have Gaudreau dangling on one line and Höglander dangling on the second line? Look out. The Swede would feel right at home in Calgary, joining fellow countrymen Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Rasmus Andersson, and others.
When he has the puck on his stick, he’s trying to make a skilled play. His puck handling is lightning quick and he often leaves defenders in a knot with how he dangles while in stride. He’s not a selfish dangler, though, as he’s a great passer and looks for his teammates constantly. He’s not a typical playmaker you see run a power play and hang around the half-wall hitting seam passes. He’s always in motion and makes creative feeds. Hoglander isn’t the biggest forward at 5-foot-9, but he plays with a lot of energy and engages well. He’s got a bit of an edge to his game, too. — Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
- #23 — HockeyProspect.com
- #29 — Future Considerations
- #N/A — ISS Hockey
- #11 — NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)