Whether it’s picks and prospects, or dollars and contracts, proper asset management is the lifeblood of a franchise.

In the present.

And, more importantly, the future.

For Flames GM Craig Conroy, any trade involving his No.-1 netminder, unequivocally, had to check both boxes.

“It was a deal that made sense to us moving forward," Conroy said of acquiring a 2025 first-round draft pick, along with defenceman Kevin Bahl, in exchange for Jacob Markstrom.

With it, a door opens for Dan Vladar and Dustin Wolf to bring their best in training camp and battle for the starting role, as part of the club’s ongoing youth movement.

Vladar underwent hip surgery back in March, which allowed Wolf – the Flames’ seventh-round pick in 2019, and the AHL’s top goalie in each of the past two season – an extended run with the big club late in the year.

Vladar, by the way, is on track to be fully healthy by the time camp kicks off in mid-September. And Wolf, after another MVP-calibre campaign with the AHL’s Wranglers, is looking to build on the 15 big-league starts he got last year, which included a four-game winning streak to wrap up the NHL portion of his calendar.

“You want to create that good competition within your group, and we have two young guys we really believe in," Conroy said.

“We want Wolf to continue to progress. … That’s the one position you want to be careful with is goalies. You never want to rush him and put him in a situation where it actually hurts their growth. So, you know, we’ve still got some decisions to make, but it gives both these guys a great opportunity to play more games in the NHL this year.”

"We want to Wolf to progress"

In Bahl, meanwhile, the Flames add a 6-foot-6, 230-lb. presence under the age of 25 who thrives in a shutdown role and will add a bit of a snarl and penalty-killing prowess to a backend that underwent plenty of change last year, with the departures of Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev.

“You know, when I look at Kevin... He’s a younger version of maybe a Zadorov-type player,” Conroy said. “His game has continually gotten better each year as we've watched him progress through the NHL and American League, and even Ottawa (in the OHL). To see where his game is going at his age, to kind of grow with our group, he was a really good fit and we need for us.

“We'd like to get bigger on the back end and a little younger and he was he was a guy that we targeted and were able to get.

“We’re looking forward to getting him in our lineup.”

And now, for the future.

The Flames have a total of eight selections in the first four rounds of the upcoming draft (including two firsts), and 15 total in the first three rounds over the next three seasons after adding this crucial, first-round shot in next year’s sweepstakes.

Six of them are in the first round, four in the second, and five in the third.

Since taking over the GM post in May of last year, Conroy has shown a steady hand in renovating this Flames roster. It started at the 2023 draft when he acquired Yegor Sharangovich for Tyler Toffoli, who was entering the final year of his contract. Then, three other free agents – Zadorov, Elias Lindholm, Tanev and Hanifin – were moved out during the season, allowing the Flames to stockpile futures of all types.

Defensive prospect Hunter Brzustewicz, for example, is among them and has quickly risen to the top of the team’s prospect pool following an MVP season with the Kitchener Rangers.

Joni Jurmo, who was acquired as part of the Lindholm/Brzustewicz package, and Artem Grushnikov – a central piece of the Tanev deal – is another.

They arrive in the pipeline at a time when a host of other youngsters, including Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil, stepped in and made the most of their opportunity last year.

“You want to build a group that's together,” Conroy said. “That's the core group and we have great leaders to go along with them, and we have Backlund and Kadri and Huberdeau and Coleman (come in). You have a good mix. It's not just young guys. It's not just older guys. We have a good mix and as we move forward, it's a group that's going to carry us where we want to go.”

And 10 days from now, Conroy will again take the reins on what promises to be an exciting time for the organization when a host of new faces tug that iconic, Flaming C sweater over their heads.

“Obviously, you have the picks, but you have to pick the right players," Conroy acknowledges. "So, we're dialing (in) and getting all the information, all the background work we can possibly do, to get the best feel.

“That’s how we’re going to move forward.”

"A big part of it – to get to where we want to go – is going to come through the draft.

"Especially the next three years."