Late bloomers Flames' only hope

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

In the next two drafts, the Flames had either be extremely lucky with their later-round picks or hit a home run with their lone first-round choice, because they won’t have many early opportunities.

Thanks to the disaster known as the Olli Jokinen fiasco, the Flames have no first-round pick in this year’s draft — which will be no worse than 14th overall. That draft choice was sent to Phoenix along with Matthew Lombardi for the now departed Jokinen, who very well could become just the ineffective Ales Kotalik and his salary of US$3 million in each of the next two seasons. It depends what happens with pending unrestricted free agent Christopher Higgins.

Moreover, the club is without it’s second-round pick at this year’s draft, having sent that to Chicago for Rene Bourque.

The Flames currently have a pair of third-round picks — they received one from Columbus for Anton Stralman — but have to give their third rounder from this year or the 2011 draft to Edmonton in the Steve Staios swap. Considering they don’t have a pick in the first two rounds this year, it’s likely the Flames will use both this year and give Edmonton their 2011 selection.

The Flames currently have an extra fourth-round pick this year, acquired for Dustin Boyd, and have all their own picks in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

The picture is slightly better in 2011, but not that much.

Calgary does have its first-round pick, but dealt the second round choice to Toronto so the Maple Leafs would take on Wayne Primeau’s salary — a contract GM Darryl Sutter signed him to. The Leafs have subsequently traded that pick to Chicago.

Sure, Calgary was able to parlay Stralman, acquired in the Primeau trade, into the third-rounder for 2010, but if the Flames elect to use both their third-round picks this summer, they won’t have a third-round pick in 2011.


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