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Treliving, Flames set for draft in Sunrise

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames are ready to pour a season’s worth of work into two days.

With the 2015 NHL Draft set for Sunrise, Fla. in a week’s time, Calgary general manager Brad Treliving insisted the bulk of the load has been carried with the Flames set for nine selections, including the No. 15 pick.

“A lot of the heavy wrestling is done,” Treliving said Thursday. “We punched each other a lot a few weeks ago. A lot of the sorting, the slotting … the heavy lifting is done.”

Hundreds of games have been logged. Thousands of scouting reports filed. Ninety prospects poked and prodded at the 2015 NHL Combine.

Another half-dozen invited to Calgary for further inquisition leading into the draft, scheduled for June 26-27 at BB&T Center.

“We do some psychological-profiling stuff,” said the GM, who will have a total of nine picks at his disposal in Florida, including four in the first two rounds and six in the opening three rounds.

“We can do a little bit more poking and prodding from a medical standpoint. Follow up on anything we need to follow up on from (the combine) interviews. It’s a getting-to-know-you-more (process). Selfishly, it’s for me to spend time with these guys.”

As much as the Flames have their list and have checked it twice, Treliving & Co. have also done some external homework, too.

Calgary’s studied up on the opposition.

Putting together drafting tendencies from other organizations and running through a series of mock selections, the Flames have tried to identify what may be left on the board to choose from midway through the first round.

“You analyze deeply the reserves of each team,” said Treliving. “Looking at past draft histories, if you dig deep enough there are tendencies to how people select. You look at what may fit with a team, what they may need potentially. A lot of it is talking with teams and trying to get as much information from them … where they’re leaning. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes Intel you’re trying to gather.

“It’s not, by any stretch, scientific … but we do a pretty good job.”

Just as Calgary has looked at those teams around them, they’ve reached out to explore the possibility of a trade, one direction or another.

"When you're talking specifically on draft, you talk about different scenarios,” Treliving started. “We're at 15. What are the teams sitting above us that may want to move down? Vice versa; who's below us that may want to move up? You frame those so when you get closer you've got the work done prior to [the draft]. You're also looking at those [second-round picks]. To say we're going to be active and make any deals, it's tough to predict. We could not make any."

And when No. 15 rolls around, should the Flames still own it?

The strategy is simple.

“Not to be cliché, but its best player available,” Treliving said.

“We’re in a market here where we’ve seen some rapid progression. We’ve seen players go directly from the draft to the league, but that’s not the norm. When you start trying to line up your immediate needs with drafting 17 and 18-year-olds, you’re going to make mistakes.

“So we’ll take best player available. In a perfect world, you hope that aligns with your needs, but we’ll see.”

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