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NHL Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames NHL Draft Profile: First-Rounder Emile Poirier

Calgary Flames

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Emile Poirier being ranked lower than 40 by many major international scouting services, the Calgary Flames surprised countless experts by taking the fleet-footed forward at 22nd overall in the 2013 NHL draft. The 18-year-old Canadian improved upon his 15-goal campaign with a 32-goal outburst last season while playing with Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

CBS Eye on Hockey seemed rather down on the pick, giving the pick a D+ in there first-round evaluations. “It wasn’t necessarily surprising to see the Flames go off the board with one of their three first-rounders. Poirier is a risky guy here, though, considering who else was on the board.

“He’s a high-end skater, but needs to build strength to produce at the NHL level. There were a lot of valuable players still on the board. Especially considering the Flames took a big leap of faith with Mark Jankowski in the first round last year, it may have been more sensible to find someone a little safer here.”

That latter part was referring to another draftee ranked outside the top 40 by many scouting services in Jankowski, who went to Calgary at 21st overall in 2012.

Poirier stands at 6-1 but weighs only around 175 pounds, and could certainly add muscle before hitting American pro ice. The Flames had gone with the more physically imposing center Sean Monahan with the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, and perhaps Monahan and Poirier could perhaps complement each other quite well down the road.