In the 1984 draft, the Flames selected six players who would play in the NHL, four of whom reached the 1000 game plateau. With the 12th overall pick, the Flames drafted Gary Roberts who would emerge as one of the best power forwards of his era. A Stanley Cup and Masterson Trophy winner, Roberts was a gritty two way player who left everything out on the ice. In the second round the Flames selected Ken Sabourin (10 points in 74 career games) and Paul Ranheim (360 points in 1013 games). Brett Hull was picked in the 6th round. “The Golden Brett” would go on to score 741 career goals the vast majority after he was dealt to St. Louis in a trade for Rob Ramage. Jiri Hrdina (130 points in 250 games) was selected in the 8th round and the Flames wrapped up this stellar draft with the selection of Gary Suter in the 9th round. The two-time U.S. Olympian would win the Calder Trophy and be a member of Calgary’s only Stanley Cup winning team. Suter would record an impressive 564 points in 617 games with the Flames.
The Flames entered the 1997 draft with 8 of the top 100 picks including the 6th overall pick and three second round selections. First round pick Daniel Tkaczuk played only 19 NHL games and the best of the rest was John Tripp who had 9 points in 43 career games.
With the next pick…
Not any franchise shifting selections in this category. The best I could come up with was in the 2008 draft when the Flames picked Greg Nemisz with the 25th pick in round one. Nemisz played 15 games in the NHL recording merely one assist. With the next selection, the Sabres grabbed Tyler Ennis who has over 200 career points. With the additions of Kane, O’Reilly and Eichel, Ennis seemed primed for several seasons of increasing offensive production as he is entering the prime years of his career. However, his 2015-16 season has been derailed by a concussion so his future could be somewhat up in the air.
Late Round Bargain:
The Calder Trophy winner in 1989-90 was 31 year old Sergei Makarov of the Calgary Flames and formally a renowned member of the Soviet Union’s famous KLM (Krutov, Larionov, Makarov) line. Makarov would tally 292 points in 297 career games with the Flames. The Flames selected him seven years earlier in the 12 round (231st overall) of the 1983 draft.
The Flames organization has hit some home runs with late round picks. In 1976, the club drafted Kent Nilsson in the 4th round with the 64th overall selection. Nilsson was a sublimely skilled player who racked up 562 points in 425 games (1.32pts/game) during his time with the Flames. He was dealt to Minnesota for a pair of draft picks which turned into Stephane Matteau and Joe Nieuwendyk. The latter was eventually dealt to Dallas in 1995 for a young Star’s prospect named Jarome Iginla.
Hakan Loob was obtained with the 181st overall pick in the 9th round of the 1980 draft and played six seasons in Calgary hitting the 30 goal plateau three times and reaching 50 on one occasion. He averaged 0.95 points/game during his Flames career and was a key member of Calgary’s Stanley Cup winning team.
In 1984, the team drafted Brett Hull in the (6th round 117th overall) and Gary Suter (9th round 180th overall). Both players were discussed in the section about Calgary’s best ever draft.
In the 8th round of the 1987 draft, the Flames drafted Theoren Fleury. A polarizing players at times throughout his career, Fleury nonetheless was an extremely feisty and talented player who has to be respected for his honesty in addressing his personal struggles. A Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold Medal champion, who recorded 1088 points in 1084 regular season games and 79 points in 77 playoff games, Fleury in my opinion deserves to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.