Draft Diary: Day 2
A glimpse inside the Flames war room in St. Paul, MN (An Alex Ruiz photo)
During the Darryl Sutter era, the NHL Draft always held excitement thanks to his last deals that often brought in a high profile player expected to make an immediate impact on the club.
With Jay Feaster at the helm, the excitement is still there but instead of buzz surrounding new players brought to Calgary in exchange for draft picks, the anticipation stems from the potential to land a blue chip prospect in the first round and immediate organizational depth thanks to two second round picks.
Feaster, hockey operations and the scouting staff have been holed up in the hotel over the past few days deliberating about the merits of over 100 different players and the amount of research they've been doing is mind-boggling. It's insane just how much data you can collect on an 18 year-old.
CalgaryFlames.com had the opportunity to sit in with the scouts while they toiled over where to place players on their final rankings heading into Friday night as well as a player interview with Feaster and several members of hockey ops. Both sit-ins showcased how the organization has changed its perspective when it comes to such a major event like the draft and should only add to the excitement surrounding the team.
Tod Button, Director of Scouting, was extremely enthusiastic about the utilization of Decision Lens software and it looks like it will become a permanent fixture in the Flames scouting future.
"There's no biases involved," he said on Thursday afternoon. "It's a true evaluation."
Feaster told us it was imperative he be able to personally meet as many prospects as he could before Friday night rolled around because he didn't just want to read a scouting report on the young men, saying that didn't allow him to fully form an opinion on potential future Flames.
"You want to find out what makes them tick, what motivates them. You want to find would what kind of a teammate they are, what kind of a teammate they like."
On top of all the preparation involving potential draft picks, the Flames are in the middle of several trade rumors swirling around. Suddenly, the spotlight on the team has grown exponentially and shows no signs of dimming any time soon.
Feaster and I rode the elevator together down to the meeting rooms this morning and despite possible massive changes hanging over the organization's head, he was all smiles.
"It's an exciting day," he said jovially before entering into the final hours of meetings before the first round.
Time will only tell how exciting it will get.