With three first-round draft picks that range from high-end (their sixth selection) to slightly deeper (Pittsburgh’s and St. Louis’ picks through trades), the Calgary Flames could rebuild in a hurry thanks to the 2013 NHL Draft.
Of course, it all comes down to making the right decisions. Assistant GM for player personnel John Weisbrod shared the team’s wide array of options and potential strategies with NHL.com on Tuesday.
He acknowledged the possibility that the Flames could swap one or more of those picks for immediate roster players as at least one route the team could take.
“We’re in a little bit of a retooling mode after some of the trades that got us picks, and we have holes in the lineup, so there’s going to be a lot of constructive discussion between now and the draft about potential trades for actual players or moving picks around,” Weisbrod said. “I think it’s certainly a possibility for us that our draft number and picks might not look the same on the day of the draft as they do today, but those are things we’ll dig in on between now and then.”
Interestingly, Weisbrod admitted that the team could go from “best player available” to covering more immediate needs with the later first-round picks they received via trades.
“I try and look at things more big picture rather than immediate need, but certainly when you get later in the first round and then to the other rounds at the very top, I guess you’re more justified in drafting for need because you have four or five guys that could conceivably jump in and play right away,” Weisbrod said. “Then it’s sort of a tie-goes-to-the-runner mentality. All things considered equal, you might as well draft at a position in which you have need.”
Weisbrod seems to double back on later-round picks, citing the propensity of developmental players.
It all points to an unpredictable (and potentially fascinating) rebuild for the Flames.