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Top undrafted Flames

by Jason Pirie / Calgary Flames

With the 2016 NHL Draft just over a week away, CalgaryFlames.com has chosen the Flames top undrafted players of all-time.

These are the Flames who carved out successful NHL careers and proved that being overlooked on draft day was not end of the road.

JOE MULLEN

Despite an offensively productive four seasons at Boston College, where he set school records for goals (110) and points (212), the American-born Mullen never heard his name called at an NHL draft.

Instead, the 5-foot-9 and 180-pound winger signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues on Aug. 16, 1979.

He began his impressive professional career by spending three seasons with the Blues’ Central Hockey League affiliate in Salt Lake, winning rookie of the year honors in 1979-80 and, after recording 59 goals and 117 points the following season, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

During his four-plus years with the Blues, Mullen enjoyed back-to-back 40-goal campaigns which included setting a record for most goals in a single season by an American-born player when he notched 41 in 1983-84.

In February 1986, however, Mullen was part of a six-player trade that saw he, Terry Johnson and Rik Wilson dealt to Calgary in exchange for Ed Beers, Charlie Bourgeois and Gino Cavallini.

It was in Calgary where Mullen notched his one and only 50-goal season when he set a career-high 110 points in 1988-89. Later that spring, he also led all Flames forwards in scoring with 16 goals and 24 points en route to hoisting his first of three Stanley Cups (he won twice more with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992).

Mullen, who became the first American player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal and 1,000-point plateaus, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

MARK GIORDANO

When it comes to drafts, the present Flames captain has been passed over not once but twice.

Giordano not only went undrafted at the 2001 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida, where 289 players were selected, but was also overlooked during the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Draft.

As a walk-on with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, he proved naysayers wrong by leading the team’s defencemen in scoring in back-to-back seasons.

Following his junior career, Giordano enrolled at York University before receiving an invitation to attend Calgary’s summer camp prior to the 2004-05 season.

He made the most of the opportunity.

After turning a few heads with an impressive camp, Calgary signed the offensive rearguard as a free agent.

Landing a full-time gig with the Flames during the 2006-07 campaign, Giordano was unable to come to terms on a contract extension the following off-season, electing to spend the 2007-08 season with HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russia Super League. He would also hoist the Spengler Cup later that year as a member of Team Canada.

Inking a three-year contract with the Flames after one year overseas, Giordano has been a mainstay on Calgary’s blueline ever since.

Named the 19th captain in franchise history prior to the 2013-14 campaign, Giordano has enjoyed career-highs in points three straight seasons.

His 21 goals last season were the most by a Flames defenceman since Al MacInnis potted 28 in 1993-94.

JOEL OTTO

As a pivotal member of Bemidji State, the superb defensive centre was a three-time NCAA West All-American in 1982, ‘83 and ’84.

After captaining the Beavers to an undefeated 31-0 record and the Division II national championship in 1983-84, Otto signed with the Flames as a free agent.

A two-time Frank J. Selke Trophy finalist as the NHL’s top defensive forward, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Minnesota native finished his career with 195 goals and 508 points in 943 regular season games.

Following 11 productive seasons donning the Flaming ‘C’, which included winning the 1989 Stanley Cup, Otto moved on to Philadelphia where he played his final three NHL campaigns.

He represented the United States at two World Championships, two Canada Cup tournaments, captured the 1996 World Cup and participated in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

His number 24 was the first-ever retired by Bemidji State’s hockey team. He was also inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.

Otto is entering his 10th season as an assistant coach with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen.

JAMIE MACOUN

After three seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes, the hard-nosed stay-at-home defenceman signed with the Flames in January 1983.

Macoun would make an immediate impact, chipping in with 32 points from the backend before being named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

After suffering nerve damage to his arm in an automobile accident in the spring of 1987, though, he was sidelined for the entire 1987-88 campaign.

Fortunately, Macoun returned the following season to help the Flames win the franchise’s first and only Stanley Cup.

Traded to Toronto as part of the “Doug Gilmour deal”, Macoun’s stingy defensive play under head coach Pat Burns helped lead the Maple Leafs to back-to-back conference finals in 1993 and 1994.

Macoun capped his career with the Detroit Red Wings, hoisting his second Stanley Cup in Motown in 1998.

The Newmarket, Ontario native represented Canada at three World Championships, capturing a silver medal in both 1985 and 1991.

In all, Macoun suited up for 1,128 NHL games and finished his career with an impressive plus-172 rating.

PEKKA RAUTAKALLIO

A 26-year-old NHL rookie defenceman, Rautakallio posted 154 points in 235 games over three seasons with the Flames – one in Atlanta and two in Calgary – before returning to his native Finland to suit up for HIFK Helsinki for five seasons in the SM-liiga.

While with the Flames, he led all team defencemen with 56 points during the 1980-81 campaign before becoming the first Finnish-born player named to an NHL All-Star Game in 1982.

Considered the “Finnish Bobby Orr”, Rautakallio was a five-time Finnish All-Star and was named the league’s top defenceman three times (1978, 1979 and 1986). He was so highly-regarded that the league later renamed the award the Pekka Rautakallio Trophy.

In addition, he represented his country at seven World Championships and two Canada Cup tournaments.

Nicknamed Rocky during his brief NHL stint, Rautakallio opted to cut short his career in North America so that he could raise his family in Finland, leaving some to wonder what could have been.

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