Draft day Flame-out

Flames GM Darryl Sutter says don't expect fireworks at the NHL Draft this weekend. (Sun File/Darren...

Flames GM Darryl Sutter says don't expect fireworks at the NHL Draft this weekend. (Sun File/Darren Makowichuk)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

History states Darryl Sutter will make a splash at the draft.

Last year, the Flames GM acquired a front-line forward in Alex Tanguay. Heck, even when not making a trade, he's reeled in a rising star defenceman in Dion Phaneuf.

Heading into the annual affair which begins Friday in Columbus, though, Sutter says don't expect fireworks.

"Our intention is to pick 18 (in the first round), unless something dramatic happens," he said yesterday. "We know what we want to do but it's hard to tell what anyone else is doing."

Which, presumably, won't be to move up in a draft which, by all accounts, boasts only a few big studs and then plenty of players who could be anywhere from six to 30.

"I think the top-five players are clearly top five and then, from that six to 10 to 30 are all pretty similar," Sutter said. "Would we trade our first-round pick? I think just because there's such a big group there, I don't know if it would make much sense."

Unless maybe to go down but, with all the parity among the prospects, it may be hard to find a club willing to move picks for anything short of an NHL player. And the Flames aren't going to be in a selling mood for anything less than a surefire prospect.

Which means we'll most likely be looking elsewhere for buzz at the draft.

"Live ammo, meaning players that are playing in the NHL, and (teams with) multiple picks could affect the first round," Sutter said.

As it stands today, St. Louis and Edmonton both have three first-round choices. Phoenix, Montreal and Washington have two chances at the podium.

The New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, Dallas, San Jose, Atlanta, New Jersey and Buffalo don't have a first-round choice.

Adding significance to what Sutter does with the 18th pick is the team's lack of choices through the rest of the entry draft.

The Flames dealt away their second-round choice for Alex Tanguay, third-round choice in the David Hale deal and fourth-round pick in the Craig Conroy reacquisition. They have an extra pick in the fifth and sixth rounds but no seventh-round choice because of the Chris Clark trade.

Don't expect to see Calgary choose another goalie in the first round, seeing as the team appears full of twineminding prospects right now.

"Before, it was more specific what your need was because you didn't have the depth in your farm team," Sutter said. "But now that we have that depth, it's more about the best player available you think could fit in, in two or three or four years."

Still, there are types of players the Flames are lacking on the depth chart. For instance, a puck-moving defenceman or big winger who can score.

Sutter believes more in attributes.

"We can change all the rules we want and have the all the opinions you want but it's still a game about being competitors and big is better than little and fast is better than slow and heart is better than a lack of courage," he said. "All those things will never change."

That said, he has an idea who'll be donning the Flaming C Friday night and it'll be a player he believes in, along with scouting director Tod Button and head amateur scout Mike Sands.

"The more you watch the kids, for me, the more you like them. A lot of times, I think, scouts watch kids and get more critical and start nitpicking at them," Sutter said.

"When I watch kids where you think you're gonna pick, I get to like them more, so when you get to pick, you're thinking, 'I wish they were all there.'

"And you're happy for them when they do go higher."

It may be most likely the Flames will pick 18th and watch the action until the fifth round but don't fully write off the possibility of a major move.

"We didn't think, going in last year, we would talk to Colorado about Alex and we didn't think we'd be talking to somebody else about Jordan (Leopold)," he said.

"That was just the way it worked because of salary caps and budgets. Do you have more ability to see (trades)? I don't know. July First is a critical day now and teams are very well prepared going into the draft.

KRAHN RE-SIGNS

Brent Krahn, the club's top pick in 2000, will remain with the club and it appears he may have a legitimate shot at the backup goalie job.

Krahn inked a two-way pact while minor-league forwards Carsen Germyn and Warren Peters also signed.

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A LOOK AT THE 2007 NHL ENTRY DRAFT THROUGH THE EYES OF THE CALGARY FLAMES

The first round takes place Friday beginning at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast live on TSN. The remaining six rounds (2-7) will take place Saturday. The The Calgary Flames have a total of five picks in this year's draft.

FLAMES 2007 ENTRY DRAFT CHOICES:

Round Overall Pick

1 18th

5 139th

5 147th

6 155th

6 169th

- Flames acquired New Jersey's fifth-round choice, 147th overall, as part of the trade for David Hale.

- Flames acquired Washington's sixth-round choice, 155th overall, as part of the Chris Clark deal.

- Flames traded their second-round choice, 49th overall, to Colorado as part of the trade for Alex Tanguay.

- Flames traded their third- round choice, 79th overall, to New Jersey as part of the trade for David Hale.

- Flames traded its fourth-round choice, 109th overall, to Los Angeles as part of the trade for Craig Conroy.

- Flames traded its seventh-round choice, 199th overall, to Washington as part of the trade with Chris Clark.


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