FlamesNation Radio Episode 38 Diving deep into the draft

It’s FlamesNation Radio! This week, Ryan and Shane congratulate the Memorial Cup champion Saint John Sea Dogs!

And then they dive deep into nearly two dozen players that they think the Calgary Flames may select in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. If you want a crash course in the upcoming entry draft, this is for you.

Among the players we discuss:

Liam hgren is a new-age power forward Realistic options for the Canucks at 15

Liam Ögren plays a well-rounded game with strengths that should allow him to quickly become a sturdy pro in North America.

The offensive winger dominated the Swedish junior hockey circuit with Djurgårdens IF this past season. He is an elite finisher who can score from anywhere on the ice and never backs down from driving to the dirty areas to clean up loose pucks.

Öhgren plays the game like a power forward, even if he isn’t 6’4″. And honestly, this type of player might end up being the new-age power forward. He plays extremely hard in the offensive zone, cleans up garbage around the net, and uses his strength to body-up on defenders as he looks to win board battles.

There’s a lot to like about Öhgren that makes him a serious option for the Canucks at 15. Let’s dive into his game.

Size, position, team, and statistics

We mentioned that Öhgren has a power forward feel to his game and that comes from how he can utilize his big frame and strength.

Öhgren comes in at 6’1″ and weighs over 200 pounds. He plays left wing and spent most of his season playing in the Swedish J20 Nationell league, producing at a record-breaking rate.

He scored 33 goals in 30 games and added 25 assists to give him 58 points with Djurgårdens’ J20 team in the 2021–22 season. That production translates to 1.93 points per game. While his scoring rate is very impressive, what might be more exciting is that he scored 28 of those 33 goals at even strength.

Öhgren doesn’t rely on power plays to create offence, he goes out and creates it at five-on-five — something that will bode well for him as he looks to quickly become an NHL player.

The production came from Öhgren’s willingness to outwork the opposition more than it came from him simply being a much more skilled player than his competition in the J20 leagues. Öhgren has a lot of skill, but what we liked in watching his goals was how much more he was moving his feet, being aggressive, and going to the net with authority.

Öhgren’s shot is excellent — we will get to it more in the “strengths” section — but his production didn’t come from being the most elite skilled player in the league, it came from him having elite skill combined with working harder than the competition.


Rankings provided by Elite Prospects.


You can’t talk about Liam Öhgren without mentioning his shot. It’s not the most dynamic shot of the draft but there is an argument to be made about him being one of the most consistent shooters, and he doesn’t rely on just being a one-trick pony who only scores from one area of the ice. Öhgren looks dangerous from the slot, the left half-wall, and the right side of the ice on a one-timer. You’ll see all of these in the long highlights package I put together.

Physically, he is nearly NHL-ready at this current date. His skating technique is good, his strides are powerful, and he’s already tipping the scales over 200 pounds. Öhgren is mature enough to believe that the NHL is not far away for him. He is set to play next season in the Allsvenskan and should get a lot more minutes in Sweden’s second-tier pro league.

There is only one more year on Öhgren’s Swedish contract and from everything that we’ve seen in his game, it would be shocking if he wasn’t in North America for the 2023–24 season. This is a prospect who is on a fast track to the NHL and his size and energy give him a good chance to slot into a fourth-line role and work his way up as his confidence grows.

Öhgren also showed the ability to adjust his game to the SHL level. He dressed for 25 games with Djurgårdens’ top club and averaged 6:59 of ice-time over the SHL season. He has to play more of a dump and chase style in the SHL as a part of the fourth line but it seemed like he was even more focused on playing well defensively when he participated in Sweden’s top league. He didn’t look out of place physically and though his offence didn’t shine as it does in the J20 league, he was still going to the net hard.

Djurgårdens was one of the worst teams in the SHL this year and ended up being relegated to the second-tier Allsvenskan league for next season. The demoted likely means that Öhgren will get a ton more ice time next year as some of the team’s veterans look to sign with clubs that remained in the SHL.

This should open the door for Öhgren to take on more of a challenge than he saw in the J20 league. It’s a good step for his development and could very easily be enough to help transition him to the AHL or NHL in the 2023–24 season.

Notes from the tape

  • One of the reasons why we think Öhgren will be an immediate success in North America is how good he is at making good decisions with his passing in tight areas. He consistently finds the right area of the ice to pass to and sets up his teammates for easy zone entries.
  • Öhgren’s willingness to drive the net is such a breath of fresh air. He not only goes to the net hard but he also does such a good job of making sure he is in a position to fire a shot on net.
  • We don’t see Öhgren carry the puck that often because the puck is so quick off his stick. He uses his teammates in breakouts much more than he likes to carry the puck himself. This can also be said about him in the offensive zone. Öhgren likes to move the puck more than carry it and often makes quick cuts past defenders after he makes a pass. This leads to some beautiful give-and-go plays with his teammates and is a big reason why he had so much success scoring at even strength.
  • His release on shooting attempts is so quick and might be the best trait in his shot, but we also really like how well he prepares a shot. When Öhgren has a bit of time before shooting, he can move the puck around a defender’s stick and this quick change in angle makes it tough for both defenders and goaltenders to anticipate. These types of advanced ways of attacking make us pretty excited about what we could see from him once he develops a bit more and comes over to North America.


Grab a snack or a coffee, sit back and take a look at 20 of Öhgren’s goals from this past season in the Swedish J20 league — as well as a couple from the U18 World Championships.

Grade if the Canucks draft at 15: A-

Öhgren is a bit lower in many of the rankings out there, but his floor is also very high. Similarly to Danila Yurov, there’s not a lot to dislike in Öhgren’s game. He already looks like he has an NHL body and he skates well and goes to the net hard.

We don’t want to say that this is a safe pick but you’re not exactly swinging for a first-line talent with Öhgren. What you are getting is a player who looks like he will be versatile on the power play and could be used in many different parts of the ice. You’re also getting a player who thrives at scoring at even strength, which is one of the most difficult things to do in the NHL.

Öhgren would immediately become the Canucks’ top prospect by a mile and with him set to start next season in the Allsvenskan, he should be given a lot of ice time to continue to develop his game at a higher level. It would be great if he was a centre but there are so many intangibles in his game to like that it wouldn’t surprise us to see the Canucks use to No. 15 pick on Öhgren.

Trading down a few picks and snagging Öhgren might be an option if there are a couple of big-name prospects who slide to the Canucks at 15 like Brad Lambert, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Joakim Kemmel, or Matthew Savoie. The Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings, and Washington Capitals might be some teams to look at in this case should the Canucks want to trade down to 17, 19, or 21 to select Öhgren while adding another second or third-round pick.

More from CanucksArmy:

What to expect from Pick 29 and those around it

The latest the Oilers have selected in the first round was the 25th pick. They took Rob Schremp in 2004 and then Andrew Cogliano in 2005. Schremp didn’t pan out, but 17 years, 1140 regular season games and 116 playoff games later, Cogliano is a Stanley Cup champion. Cogliano has played the third-most games from his draft class and has the 10th most points. The scouts got it right when they selected him and since taking Cogliano in 2005 the Oilers have had good success with draft picks in the 20s.

They’ve used the 22nd pick on Jordan Eberle (2008), Kailer Yamamoto (2017), and Xavier Bourgault (2021). Eberle is 2nd in goals and 3rd in points from the 2008 class. Yamamoto is currently 10th in goals and points from his class. It is too early to say how Bourgault will do, but he scored 50 goals and 104 points in 63 regular season, playoff, and Memorial Cup games for Shawinigan. He turns pro in the fall.

They selected Riley Nash 21st in 2007. He has played 627 NHL games, which is currently 27th from his draft class. He has mainly been a bottom-six forward, but he’s had a successful NHL career.

I wanted to look at picks 26-32, three before and three after the Oilers pick at 29, to get a gauge what type of player the Oilers could get. I opted to look at drafts between 2006-2019.

Players in Red are NHLers who have played 200+ games, or will reach 200 this season.
Players under 200 games played have their GP in brackets.
Players with an * are under 200 GP, but project to be regular NHLers.
The 2018-2019 class is still too early to say for certain if they will become NHLers. Some are still in NCAA, Europe or a first-year pro in AHL.

26th Pick Player POS 27th Pick Player POS
2006 Leland Irving (13) G 2006 Ivan Vishnevsky (5) D
2007 David Perron LW 2007 Brendan Smith D
2008 Tyler Ennis C 2008 John Carlson D
2009 Kyle Palmieri C 2009 Philippe Paradis C
2010 Evgeni Kuznetsov RW 2010 Mark Visentin (1) G
2011 Phillip Danault C 2011 Vladislav Namestnikov C
2012 Brendan Gaunce (148) C 2012 Henrik Samuelsson (3) C
2013 Shea Theodore D 2013 Marko Dano (141) C
2014 Nikita Scherbak (37) RW 2014 Nikolay Goldobin (125) LW
2015 Noah Juulsen (56) D 2015 Jacob Larsson (165) D
2016 Tage Thompson C 2016 Brett Howden C
2017 *Jake Oettinger (79) G 2017 *Morgan Frost (77) C
2018 Jacob Bernard-Docker (13) D 2018 Nicolas Beaudin (22) D
2019 Jakob Pelletier LW 2019 Nolan Foote (13) D

The 26th pick has seven NHLers and Oettinger seems a lock to be the 8th. The 27th pick has four NHLers, but Frost, Beaudin and Foote could join them in a few years.

28th Pick Player POS 29th Pick Player POS
2006 Nick Foligno LW 2006 Chris Summers (70) D
2007 Nick Petricki (1) D 2007 Jim O’Brien (77) C
2008 Viktor Tikhonov (111) LW 2008 Daultan Leveille C
2009 Dylan Olsen (124) D 2009 Carter Ashton (54) LW
2010 Charlie Coyle C 2010 Emerson Etem (173) C
2011 Zack Phillips C 2011 Nicklas Jensen (31) LW
2012 Brady Skjei D 2012 Stefan Matteau (92) LW
2013 Morgan Klimchuk (1) C 2013 Jason Dickinson LW
2014 Josh Ho-Sang (53) RW 2014 Adrian Kempe C
2015 Anthony Beauvillier LW 2015 Gabriel Carlsson (75) D
2016 Lucas Johansen (1) D 2016 Trent Frederic C
2017 Shane Bowers D 2017 Henri Jokiharju D
2018 Nils Lundkvist D 2018 *Rasmus Sandin (88) D
2019 Ryan Suzuki D 2019 Brayden Tracey (1) LW

The 28th pick has produced four NHLers while pick 29 also has four and Sandin seems destined to make it. The 29th pick had six players between 1-100 GP. Players who had potential, but couldn’t become regulars.

30th Pick Player POS 31st Pick Player POS
2006 Matthew Corrente (34) D 2006 Tomas Kana (6) C
2007 Nick Ross D 2007 TJ Brennan (53) D
2008 Thomas McCollum (3) G 2008 Jacob Markstrom G
2009 Simon Despres* D 2009 Mikko Koskinen G
2010 Brock Nelson C 2010 Tyler Pitlick LW
2011 Rickard Rakell RW 2011 David Musil (4) D
2012 Tanner Pearson LW 2012 Oscar Dansk (6) G
2013 Ryan Hartman RW 2013 Ian McCoshen (60) D
2014 John Quenneville (42) C 2014 Brendan Lemieux LW
2015 Nick Merkley (41) RW 2015 Jeremy Roy D
2016 Sam Steel C 2016 Yegor Korshkov (1) RW
2017 Eeli Tolvanen RW 2017 Klim Kostin  (41) C
2018 *Joe Veleno (71) D 2018 Alexander Alexeyev (1) D
2019 John Beecher C 2019 Ryan Johnson D

Despres (in red) has an asterisk due to not playing 200 games, but his career ended due to injury. The 30th pick has seven NHLers and Veleno seems a lock to make it eight. The 31st pick had four and was the only pick to have two goalies dressed for 200+ games.

32nd Pick Player POS
2006 Carl Sneep (1) D
2007 Brett MacLean (18) LW
2008 Slava Voynov  D
2009 Landon Ferraro (77) C
2010 Jared Knight C
2011 Ty Rattie (99) RW
2012 Mitchell Moroz LW
2013 Chris Bigras (46) D
2014 Jayce Hawryluk (98) RW
2015 Christian Fischer RW
2016 Tyler Benson (36) LW
2017 Connor Timmins (39) D
2018 *Matthias Samuelsson (54) D
2019 Shane Pinto (17) C

Only two NHLers from pick 32, although Samuelsson projects to get there. Pinto probably as well, while Benson and Timmins might, but footspeed and health are questions for them respectively.


Here is what the numbers tell us among the 98 picks over 14 years. So far 32 (32.6% of the picks) have become NHLers. If we project optimistically there could be another 10 joining them which would make (43%) of the picks become regular NHLers.

Pick NHLers Proj. NHLers 100-200GP 1-100GP
26 7 1 1 4
27 4 1 3 3
28 4 1 2 4
29 4 1 1 6
30 7 1 0 4
31 4 0 0 6
32 2 1 0 8

I have cautiously projected six others to become NHLers, but there are many in the 2018 and 2019 class who could as well, but it is still too early to say how many games they will play.

Bernard-Docker, Beaudin, Veleno, Alexeyev, and Samuelsson from the 2018 class could all join Sandin as players who look like NHL regulars. And it is has been four years since they’ve been drafted, which illustrates my strong belief that you often need five years to determine what most draft picks will become. The top 20-25 pick you can tell earlier, but they are the exception.

The realistic expectation for the Oilers’ 29th pick is they will need three of four more years of developing before we know if they can make the jump to the NHL. The key is to not rush them. A few more years of developing in junior, then one or two years in the AHL is the normal path for most junior picks. NCAA players often need three or four years of college before turning pro, and many start in the AHL. European players can come to the AHL earlier, but unless they are physically and emotionally ready for a different style of play and a different lifestyle, I’d opt to let them keep developing and maturing in Europe.

The Oilers haven’t had much success drafting in the early 30s recently. Between 2010-2016 they selected Tyler Pitlick and David Musil 31st, Mitch Moroz and Tyler Benson 32nd. Pitlick has battled injuries, but still managed to play 325 games for six different teams including 58 games for the Oilers. Musil and Moroz were selected earlier than they should have been and didn’t have much chance to live up to their draft ranking, while Benson is still grinding to find his way. He has the smarts and skill to play, but his footspeed is a concern.

There are two obvious areas the Oilers need to improve in their organization — right shooting centre and right-shot defencemen. Centres, who might be available at #29, include Brad Lambert, Filip Mesar and Owen Beck. Right-shot D-men who could be available are Seamus Casey, Sam Rinzel, Ryan Chesley and Tristan Luneau.

Their rankings vary on most lists, but they are in the 25-35 range on the majority of projected lists.

Edmonton could opt to trade down to try and acquire another draft pick. Currently, they own the 29th pick, 158th, 190th and 222nd. They don’t have a 2nd, 3rd or 4th round selection. However, trading down in the late 20s doesn’t happen often.


Here are the recent trades that occurred at the draft and only involved draft picks similar to the Oilers #29.

2021: Carolina trades the 27th pick to Nashville for picks 40 and 51. Nashville selected Zachary L’Heureux at 27, while Carolina picked Scott Morrow and Ville Koivunen. Too early to say if the trade benefitted either team.

2018: Toronto trades the 25th pick to St. Louis for picks 29 and 76. The Blues selected Dominik Bokk while Toronto took Rasmus Sandin and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev. Toronto traded down and still got the better player.

2017: Chicago trades the 26th pick to Dallas for picks 29 and 70. Dallas selected Jake Oettinger at 26 and Chicago chose Henri Jokiharju and Andre Altybarmakyan. Dallas moving up to take Oettinger was a great move.

We have seen three trades with a team trading back, but they were all picked before selection 29. This year’s draft might entice a few more trading of picks as the rankings of players 20-40 is very different. “There is a lot of uncertainty in this draft,” said Oilers director of Amateur Scouting and Player Development, Tyler Wright. “That doesn’t mean it is good or bad, just that this is where players are at in their development and many are lumped in together.”

I spoke with Wright on my radio show on Monday and he agreed with the notion there isn’t as much separation between picks 20-40 as in other years. Maybe that uncertainty will allow the Oilers to trade down, if they wish, but recent history suggests trading down from 29 is rare.

Regardless of who the Oilers select at 29, or if they trade down, don’t expect this pick to make an impact in Edmonton for at least three years, possibly longer.


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Los Angeles Kings acquire Kevin Fiala from Minnesota Wild, extend him for seven years

The Los Angeles Kings acquired the rights to restricted free agent winger Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday afternoon in exchange for their 2022 first round pick and Brock Faber.

Along with the trade, the Kings also signed Fiala to a contract extension. The extension is for seven years, and while the cap hit hasn’t been confirmed, it’s reported to come in at around $7.9 million.

Fiala was a part of the Minnesota Wild organization since the 2019 trade deadline when he was acquired from the Nashville Predators for Mikael Granlund. Fiala has become a prolific offensive player since joining the Wild, scoring 79 goals and 186 points in 215 games for Minnesota, including a career high 33 goals and 85 points in 2021-22.

Fiala was on a one year contract with a $5.1 million AAV signed after an arbitration filing, and was due for a big extension that the Wild couldn’t afford with the impending cap penalties from Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s buyouts in the 2021 offseason. As a result, Fiala was a player the Wild were shopping around, and the Kings took advantage of that with their draft capital, prospect pool, and cap space.

Faber is a defenseman that the Kings selected in the second round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He scored two goals and 14 points in 32 games for the University of Minnesota this season, as well as one assist in four games with Team USA at the Olympic Games in Beijing earlier this year.

The Wild also acquired a first round draft pick in the trade, which is the Kings’ own selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft slated at 19th overall.

While the trade doesn’t clear up the Wild’s cap problem entirely, they have one less contract to worry about with a bit more than $7 million in cap space, with the only big free agent now being goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

After the trade and extension, the Kings will have just under $12 million in cap space with five unrestricted free agents and seven restricted free agents currently on their roster, although none of them will likely come with a high price tag.

The post Los Angeles Kings acquire Kevin Fiala from Minnesota Wild, extend him for seven years appeared first on Daily Faceoff.