Hours before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving and Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney came to a resolution.
The two had been chatting about trade possibilities since the conclusion of the 2014-15 campaign, with talks heating up days before the draft in Sunrise, FL.
Dougie Hamilton, a restricted free agent heading into the 2015 off-season, had been the central target. At age 22, he was logging big minutes on the Bruins blueline and had taken on a top-four role in Boston. The cost for such a player was, understandably, high.
In the end, the pair decided to swap Hamilton for three picks; the Flames first round selection (15th overall) and a pair of second round picks (45th and 53rd overall).
"Any time you’re doing a deal of this magnitude, there’s a lot of work that goes into it," Treliving said during his media availability at the BB&T Center last summer. "Donnie’s a class man and did a real good job and got a real good deal for his team. It was a steep price. Any time you start talking about first round picks in a deep draft, multiple picks, I think Don [Sweeney] did himself and his team real well.
"We talked shortly after the season ended and we talked concepts. In recent days, it got going as we were in the same city. There was a push at the end. Looking at these deals, they are hard deals to make. There’s a lot of moving pieces.
"This is a really good player that a lot of teams had interest in. You’re hopeful, but until you have the deal you don’t have the deal. When Don told me those words, I was pretty happy."
Signed to a multi-year contract on June 30, Hamilton started off his inaugural season in Calgary a bit slowly. There was an adjustment period for the Toronto, ON product but after he settled in, he looked every bit like the defenceman the Flames believed they were getting from Boston.
He set new career highs with 12 goals and 43 points in 82 games, became a key cog on the power play, and saw his ice time steadily increase as the season rolled along.
"New city, new teammates … everything is new … new system, got to make chemistry with guys. I kind of got to a point where I felt more comfortable, and got adjusted to everything. I think that’s when my season improved. I felt good after that. I think it can only get better from here," Hamilton said.
With three of their picks gone in the Hamilton trade, the Flames ended up drafting five players in Sunrise last June:
RASMUS ANDERSSON - DEFENCE - SECOND ROUND - 53RD OVERALL
The Flames acquired this pick from the Mar. 2, 2015 trade that sent Sven Baertschi to the Vancouver Canucks. With the second rounder, they selected Barrie Colts defenceman Rasmus Andersson.
Andersson had a strong development camp and showing at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC. Liking what they saw from the rearguard, the Flames inked him to an entry-level deal on Sept. 14, 2015. After being reassigned to Barrie in the NHL pre-season, he registered nine goals and 60 points in 64 regular season games, leading all OHL defencemen in scoring. He chipped in with 15 points in 15 games in the Colts playoff run this past spring.
On June 2, Andersson was named an OHL First Team All-Star, an honour voted on by the league's general managers.
OLIVER KYLINGTON - DEFENCE - SECOND ROUND - 60TH OVERALL
The Flames acquired this well-traveled pick from Arizona, sending the Flames' pair of third round picks to the Coyotes in exchange for the 60th overall selection. The Coyotes had acquired the pick from the New York Rangers on Mar. 1, 2015 in the Keith Yandle trade. The Rangers had secured it from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Ryan Callahan trade back on Mar. 5, 2014.
Kylington, who was NHL Central Scouting's sixth-ranked international skater heading into the draft, was selected with the pick and the Flames signed him to an entry-level contract on July 15, 2015.
Given he had played in Sweden in 2014-15, he was eligible to play in the AHL or he could go the WHL route, as the Brandon Wheat Kings had drafted him with the 60th pick in the CHL Import Draft last summer. He also had the option to return to Sweden to play. After careful evaluation, the organization felt he was best served in the AHL and he was the league's youngest player at just 18 years of age.
In 47 games with the Stockton Heat, Kylington scored five goals and 12 points. He made his NHL debut in the Flames final game of the 2015-16 season, playing 17:22 in a 2-1 win in Minnesota.
PAVEL KARNAUKHOV - CENTRE - FIFTH ROUND - 136TH OVERALL
With their fifth round pick, the Flames selected Calgary Hitmen forward Pavel Karnaukhov. The Minsk, Belarus product amassed 42 points in his first WHL season, which placed eighth in team scoring in 2014-15.
Due to injuries, Karnaukhov was limited to 49 games in 2015-16 but increased his points-per-game average to 0.63. He scored 12 goals and picked up 31 points last season and recorded three points in his five postseason skates.
ANDREW MANGIAPANE - LEFT WING - SIXTH ROUND - 166TH OVERALL
After being passed over in his first year of eligibility, Andrew Mangiapane posted an impressive 104 points in 2014-15. His rapid progression caught scouts' eyes and the Flames utilized their sixth round pick on the diminutive Barrie Colts winger.
Mangiapane's offensive output didn't slow at all in 2015-16. He scored 51 goals and 106 points in 59 games; he was second in the OHL in goals scored and sixth in the league scoring race in the regular season. He also averaged over a point-per-game in the playoffs, with 21 points in 15 postseason dates.
Earlier this month, Mangiapane was named an OHL Second Team All-Star, an honour voted on by the league's general managers.
RILEY BRUCE - DEFENCE - SEVENTH ROUND - 196TH OVERALL
With the 196th pick, the Flames added size to their prospect pool with 6-foot-6 defenceman Riley Bruce. The North Bay Battalion blueliner had three assists and 32 PIM in his 2014-15 season.
In 2015-16, Bruce was named an alternate captain in North Bay, scored his first OHL goal, and ended up with 11 points in the regular season. During the playoffs, he scored one goal in 11 games.