Flaming C for Conviction?

June 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I like decision makers, always have.

I admire conviction, even if I completely disagree with the decision being made. Passionate, confident people make good decisions. Nervous nellies waffle and stack the chairs to make sure they don’t look foolish.

Who would you want running the hockey operations of the Flames? Easy pick right.

The Flames showed a lot of conviction at the NHL draft yesterday when they halted the draft, moved down 7 picks and acquired Buffalo’s 21st and 42nd picks for their own 14th. They added to the intrigue when they picked Mark Jankowski at 21 in the first round.

TSN analyst Piere Maquire screamed “legendary pick”, and the rest of the TSN staff could be heard uttering noises like “woah!” and “wow” as the lanky center made his way to the podium.

The Flames believe they have a diamond in the rough, would have taken him at 14 but felt they could move down and get a second round pick back, a pick they surrendered in the Robyn Regehr deal last year.

In the end it comes down to simple math:

Codi Ceci <> Mark Jankowski + Patrick Sieloff

If you like the equation value to the left they gambled away a solid offensive defenseman.
If you like the equation value to the right you like the upside of a gifted center and the passion of a bruising foundation defenseman.

If it was Jankowski versus Ceci on it’s own I think the debate would be loud and large for the next few years, but with the acquired second round pick this writer is pretty pleased with the Flames asset management work early in the 2012 draft.

Too many times in the past few years the Flames have drafted safe, too safe, too channeled and too specific. It was good to see the team target a player, feel strongly about him, get a gauge for how their peers feel, and then use that knowledge to select the player in the most effective fashion to maximize the value of a 14th pick.

Teams can’t go off the board with every pick, as it flies in the face of central scouting and would end badly over the course of ten years. But when you feel it … go for it, and that’s what the Flames did.

Jankowski has a good “feel” about him.

I wrote an article for the Forecaster ten years ago that looked at players that fell in the draft and players that rise, and you want the risers. There is often a development curve momentum wave that ends better than the guy that was supposed to go top five and slid to 21. At least it was at that point.

He has the size, the speed, the hands and the attitude to be a pretty special player, and he just happens to be projected into that glaring hole on the first line that the Flames have been unable to fill since Joe Niewendyk was traded to Dallas.

At 2 days eligible for this draft it’s not much to suggest he could have been a top 5 or 10 pick next year, meaning essentially the Flames could get two ten picks from next year’s draft if their on ice performance this year pushes them into a rebuild.

Sieloff sounds like a pretty nice throw in for picking up a second round pick, as they essentially described Brad McCrimmon in most scouting reports. Warrior, future captain material, never leaves a thing on the ice.

Have an opinion and go with it.

Good day for Flames management.

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