At the top of this draft class there are four defenceman expected to go in the top 10. Owen Power, Brandt Clarke, Luke Hughes and Simon Edvindsson. The only guy out of these four that could possibly fall to 12 would be Edvindsson but with thr amount of teams looking for help on their back end, it seems highly unlikely that any of the top four guys make it into Flames territory.
This being said, while there is a perceieved drop off in talent after Edvindsson, the two Dmen we will be talking about in this series aren't far off from being really blue chip prospects. Devon will be touching on Carson Lambos in a few days, but todays prospect profile will be looking at Corson Ceulemans.
The product from the AJHL will be heading to the University of Wisconsin next year where he looks to become the next Badger to take the NHL by storm. Corsons path to the NHL draft was a little unorthodox playing in the AJHL which is recognized as sporting lower level of play in comparison to the major junior hockey leagues in Canada, but is made available to prospects in Canada that would like to take the route of the NCAA in their hockey career.
Not too many players from Canada go this route, however it has been done before, by none other than Colorado's young superstar Cale Makar who actually played from the same Junior clube before heading off to the University of Masschusettes. However, due to both the league level and Covids prevention from the league really running at full force. Ceulemans draft stock is all over the place. Some people have him as high as 9 or 10, while others have him as a fringe first rounder.
Ceulemans only got into 8 AJHL games this past season scoring 4 goals and 11 points. Where he really added to his draft stock was at the under-18 championships in which he scored 8 points in 6 games, good for the most among all draft-eligible defenceman at the tournament!
Ceulemans strength definitely comes from his skating and offensive prowess. Between International tournaments and the AJHL, Corson has only taken part in 62 hockey games over the past 2 years. So for a guy heading into the draft, he is recognized as one of the more raw prospects in the draft. However, his upside may be the highest among all draft eligible dmen due to his abundance of raw talent. In terms of skating and offensive tools he is seen by Brooks Bandits fans as Cale Makar 2.0. His physical game is also a strongsuit, the right shooting dman stands at 6'2 and 188 pounds and often uses his body to protect the puck and take others off of it. His playstyle while somewhat similar to Makar, reminds me more of John Carlson or Brent Burns as his two-way game leaves a little bit to be desired. His defensive game looked pretty rough at the U-18s and in AJHL play and he was prone to alot of offensive turnovers when he tried a little to hard to make that extra play.
For the Flames, its crazy to think how stacked our defensive cupboards were just a few years ago. Now that Valimaki has graduated to the NHL, and Kylington seems to be fading. Calgary is really down to the bare minimum in Connor Mackey and Jeremie Poirier. While both of those guys have NHL potential, they dont have that "A level" prospect in their system anymore.
Ceulemans is far from a sure thing, he would definitely need a year or two or even three down at Wisconsin before he could really make his mark as an NHL defenceman. That being said, when you're drafting in the lottery you should be drafting guys that have the potential to change your team. Drafting high floor-low ceiling guys can put you in a cycle of that perpetual mediocrity that us Flames fans are so used to.
Anyway here are some of Corson's highlights, if this guy pans out he could end up being a real star player. I don't know if the Flames will elect to go with a defenceman at number 12, but if they do Corson Ceulemans could be the guy as his potential is truly through the roof.