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by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

With less than 48 hours until the 2012 NHL Draft kicks off in Pittsburgh, the Flames scouting staff and members of hockey operations are holed inside a boardroom making constant revisions to their final prospect rankings list.

While ranking the top prospects is obviously important - last minute scrutinizing and shuffling was key in drafting Sven Baertschi last year - according to special assistant to the general manager Craig Conroy, close attention is being paid to prospects expected to go in the late rounds.

"As important as it to get the top pick (right), maybe the first or second rounds you're really focusing in on, it's just as important in your sixth or seventh rounds.

"That's the one thing that the guys have really buckled down. I think that's where you make hay, if you can get some later."

The 2011 NHL Draft yielded some very solid prospects in the later rounds. Conroy pointed to fourth round selection Johnny Gaudreau, who was second in team scoring at Boston College this year as a true freshman, and the Flames sixth round pick last year, Laurent Brossoit, who led the Edmonton Oil Kings to a WHL Championship and was named the series MVP, as examples.

"What can a guy do special in some of the later rounds? He's got some faults but we could pick this guy and he could make a difference some day," Conroy said. "That's what you're looking for."

The first round of the NHL Draft kicks off on Friday evening with rounds two through seven taking place on Saturday. Watch for constant video, audio and editorial updates and make sure your following us through social media as we'll have tons of exclusive content popping up on our platforms:

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On Instagram? So are we! Follow us at @NHLFlames. Behind-the-scenes photos will be coming your way all week.

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