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Calgary Flames 2023 Draft Recap

The Flames were busy at the 2023 NHL Draft, including getting their “guy” in the first round.

If you’ve been around the Calgary Flames long enough you know that the NHL Draft isn’t always the most successful event the team partakes in over the course of the season. There’s been busts, wasted picks, nothing that most teams don’t go through, yet it feels like the Flames have a hard time sticking the landing at the draft. Granted, there have been some solid selections. There was the drafting of Dion Phaneuf, Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan and even the golden fourth round nugget in Johnny Gaudreau. What most people seem to focus on the busts, or perceived busts like Sam Bennett or players taken too early like Mark Jankowski or guys that did nothing like Rico Fata. Recently the Flames seem to be turning the corner though, as players like Matthew Coronato and Dustin Wolf are poised to make an impact as quality Flames draft picks. Calgary has a stable of young talent that is knocking at the door and forcing the Flames to make some roster decisions and if you believe what Calgary’s new GM Craig Conroy says, this draft class was solid. With that said, has any GM ever said “well, we can’t stand the guys we drafted, but we had to pick someone”? With that out of the way, let’s look at who the Flames selected in the 2023 NHL Draft.

First Round (Pick #16): Samuel Honzek, F (WHL, Vancouver Giants)

Born: November 12, 2014, Height: 6’4, Weight: 186lbs
At most drafts, picks in this range are a black hole in the first round. This area of the draft is where you pick when you’re stuck in perpetual mediocrity: not that bad, not that good. Welcome to Flames country. This is where GM’s can really earn their pay check if they can mine a diamond from this landscape and newly minted GM Craig Conroy thinks he has that in Samuel Honzek.
The 18 year old native of Slovakia is a BIG forward with a lot of offensive upside. At 6’4, Honzek had a very solid first year in the WHL, scoring 23 times and dishing out 33 assists. Calgary definitely saw something in this young man and were extremely excited when he was sitting there for them at pick #16.

Second Round (Pick #48): Etienne Morin, D (QMJHL, Moncton Wildcats)

Born: March 9, 2005, Height: 6’0, Weight: 180lbs

2023 Stats: GP: 67, Goals: 21, Assists: 51, PIM: 50, +/-: +29

Third Round (Pick #80): Aydar Suniev, F (BCHL, Penticton Bees, NCAA UMass)

Born: November 16, 2004, Height: 6’2, Weight: 198lbs

2023 Stats (BCHL): GP: 50, Goals: 45, Assists: 45, PIM: 44

Fourth Round (Pick #112): Jaden Lipinski, C (WHL, Vancouver Giants)

Born: December 2, 2004, Height: 6’4, Weight: 204lbs

2023 Stats: GP: 66, Goals: 19, Assists: 32, PIM 55, +/-: -6

Sixth Round (Pick #176): Yegor Yegorov, G (Rus-MHL, Moscow Dynamo Jr.)

Born: August 30, 2005, Height: 6’3, Weight: 183lbs

2023 Stats: GP: 15, W-L-T: 9-4-0, GAA: 2.29, Save%: .915, Saves: 324, GA: 30

Seventh Round (Pick #208): Alex Hurtig, D (SWE-Jr, Rogle BK Jr.)

Born: June 10, 2005, Height: 6’4, Weight: 202lbs

2023 Stats: GP: 34, Goals: 2, Assists: 6, PIM: 14