With the draft coming up, most people tend to focus on who is being drafted and have considerably less knowledge about who is doing the drafting. I plan to single out the decision makers on each team and see how they've done recently. We'll focus on the most recent drafts (2005-2008) only. The teams are presented in alphabetical order with four articles each to be published prior to the draft. Please note: This is not an assessment of each team's current prospects but an examination of the people currently doing the drafting and how well each of those people have done in recent drafts.
Calgary Flames (C)
Draft day decision makers: The Flames have three draft-day decision makers, including GM Darryl Sutter, Director of Amateur Scouting Tod Button and Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Sands. All three were with the Flames for the last four drafts. There has been some turnover among the amateur scouts, but that's probably a good thing given that Calgary's last two drafts were much better than the two prior.
2005 – Calgary took big defensive defenseman Matt Pelech with the 26th pick overall. It wasn't a great pick but not a bust either. Pelech should be a solid if unspectacular top-six defenseman for the Flames. Calgary had no second round pick in the draft, which was a mistake because this draft had two good rounds. Calgary's two early third round picks were busts, but their fifth rounder saved their bacon. Goalie Kevin Lalande, since traded to Columbus, has excellent upside as a No. 1 NHL goalie. Brett Sutter is another late rounder who has some potential as an energy player.
2006 – The Flames took Leland Irving with the 26th pick. Irving has upside as a No. 1 NHL goalie so give the Flames some credit here. Again they had no second round pick and two third rounders. Calgary missed again with their third rounders and there was no late round steal to salvage this draft.
2007 – This was a weak draft, but don't tell that to the Flames. In a terrible first round for most teams, Calgary grabbed Mikael Backlund with the 24th pick. Yet again, there was no second round pick, however, John Negrin a good offensive defenseman was taken early in the third. Negrin shapes up as a puck moving blue liner. Calgary hit in the fourth, grabbing 6'6 Keith Aulie with the 116th