After dismissing Jay Feaster from the General Manager position a few years back, the Flames have quietly rebuilt some really nice young talent that are graduating to the NHL level. Sam Bennett along with Sean Monahan, and Johnny Hockey Gaudreau helped lead the Flames to the playoffs and past Western Canadian rival Vancouver Canucks in the first round. The Flames seemed to find luck in the clutch as they were one of the best teams in the third period all season long and were a surprise story in the NHL's tough Western Conference.
However, they need to continue to build for the future and find ways to control the puck in the offensive zone better. With that, they select Right Winger Timo Meier.
Calgary Prospect Rundown
With the top prospects like Bennett, who is 18 years old, to and the other barely old enough to drink 20 somethings up front, the talented forwards are looking like real hits. And they've built that through drafting, trading for prospects like Ben Hanowski (former St. Cloud State Husky), and signing college free agents.
On defense Tyler Wotherspoon is the most promising defenseman and spent most the entire year with the Adirondack Flames in his first season as a pro. Calgary fans are hoping that John Gilmour can provide solid offense from the blue line in the near future even if his stature is on the small size. He finished his junior season with Providence College and will be an older prospect hoping to make the jump directly to the NHL.
Organizationally, the team is weak on right wingers. With one natural RW on the NHL roster in David Jones, and the lack of high end talent on the right side, save for Emile Poirier, it makes good sense to draft Meier.
About Timo Meier
Standing at 6'1" and wighing in at 209 pounds, the Baden, Switzerland native was second on the Halifax Mooseheads in points behind Nikolaj Ehlers with 90 points in 64 games played. He's represented Team Switzerland in the U18 and U20 World Juniors and had success at the international levels. Ranked 10th best North American Skater by Central Scouting and around 14 or 15 by other scouting services, he is a real top offensive talent.
However, his play in his own end leaves a lot more to be desired. He tends to shy away from the corners in the D-zone and tends to cause a lot of turnovers that he'll need to clean up to crack the NHL. The great thing about defense though is that it can be taught and only requires a real conscious effort.
What the scouts say:
Adam Kimelman, NHL.com:
"What do Nikolai Ehlers, Kevin Fiala and Connor McDavid all have in common? All were beneficiaries of playing alongside the 6-1, 209-pound forward at some point this season. Meier skates well and doesn't hesitate to use a strong shot that helped him score 44 goals in 61 games, but also knows how to set up his linemates; he was second on Halifax with 46 assists."
We like Meier's strength. He has a very hard, pro ready shot, a long reach and isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas. Meier has hop in his step and has good, quick acceleration that allows him to scoot past defenders and beat them to pucks. Skating is a tad choppy at full speed but he is well balanced and has above average mobility. Meier's defensive play is not an area that would be considered a plus; although, he does know what and when to make a play in his own zone. The drive to do it is the issue. His conditioning is definitely a question mark as well. He seemed to wear down at points in the season.
Curtis Joe, EliteProspects.com:
A physically dominant winger with the ability to play in a skill or character role. In the offensive end, Meier is very aware and gets himself into spaces where he can easily make seeing eye passes or snap hard, accurate shots. Can impact the game in a number of different ways, and is very consistent in his efforts. All-in-all, the kind of versatile player that you can put on a skill line, and trust to create dangerous chances, or on a shutdown line, and trust to help stop pucks from going into your net
The kids provides the type of offensive talent that you can maybe look past the defensive deficiencies.
How He'd Fit the Wild
The lack of defensive responsibility is already a fed flag on the Wild's draft boards and even though he could give the Wild some dynamism on the right wing side. The Wild showed that they aren't willing to draft that type of player when they passed on drafting Josh Ho-Sang in the 2014 draft. The kid could be a good player and with some defensive coaching from Mike Yeo, and he could develop a more well-rounded game.