Vancouver Canucks: Pacific Division Draft Grade Ranking

(EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
(EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Calgary Flames

It hurts, I know. The Vancouver Canucks’ biggest rivals rank first and second respectively in our draft grade ranking. Like the Oilers, the Calgary Flames owned far more picks than the Canucks — nine to be exact. So, they had it much easier as well. But they also used their nine picks very well.

This is the 2016 Calgary Flames draft class:

Rnd Pick Overall Team Player Pos Country Height Weight Amateur League Amateur Team
1 6 6 CGY Matthew Tkachuk LW USA 6′ 1″ 202 OHL London
2 24 54 CGY Tyler Parsons G USA 6′ 1″ 185 OHL London
2 26 56 CGY Dillon Dube C CAN 5′ 10″ 183 WHL Kelowna
3 5 66 CGY Adam Fox D USA 5′ 10″ 181 USHL USA U-18
4 5 96 CGY Linus Lindstrom C SWE 5′ 11″ 165 SWEDEN-JR. Skelleftea Jr.
5 5 126 CGY Mitchell Mattson C USA 6′ 4″ 191 HIGH-MN Grand Rapids
6 5 156 CGY Eetu Tuulola RW FIN 6′ 1″ 224 FINLAND-JR. HPK Jr.
6 15 166 CGY Matthew Phillips C CAN 5′ 6″ 140 WHL Victoria
7 5 186 CGY Stepan Falkovsky D BLR 6′ 7″ 224 OHL Ottawa

As of today, I expect at least five of Calgary’s nine picks to make the NHL. That is more than 50 percent, which is something I wish I could say about Vancouver’s draft class.

Calgary’s first pick was sixth overall, just one after the Canucks picked defenseman Olli Juolevi. For Vancouver fans, there is a feeling that we missed out on a new No. 1 center while in Calgary, people are simply excited to have a future top-six scorer. That doesn’t mean Juolevi can’t become a better player than Tkachuk; the Flames simply ended up with a terrific player.

With two picks close together in the second round, they selected a goalie and an undersized center. Some scouts expect Tyler Parsons to be the best goalie of the draft and, even though goalies are always wild cards, he was a great pick. Next up was Dillon Dube who may be undersized, but his game is focused on speed and skill, much like that of Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames aren’t afraid of undersized players, and this one can be a top-six player in the NHL.

Read: Matthew Tkachuk Prospect Profile

In rounds three to five, Calgary added four players who were all expected to go off the board earlier than they did. Adam Fox, Linus Lindstrom, Mitchell Mattson and Eetu Tuulola all have solid NHL potential. Especially Tuulola could be a great value pick, as he was taken 68 picks later than his worst rank by the major scouting services. If he can develop his raw tools, he could become an outstanding power forward.

Lastly, the Flames grabbed the shortest and the second-tallest players in the draft. Matthew Phillips scared many teams away, but size is secondary in Calgary. To compensate for their four undersized players in this draft, they picked up 6-foot-7, 225-pound defenseman Stepan Falkovsky. The overage blue liner shows some nice two-way ability along with outstanding size.

Grade: A+

Next: Outlook