SPORTS

With trade and picks, Flames strengthen defence of present and future at draft

06/27/2015 12:56 EDT | Updated 06/27/2016 05:59 EDT
SUNRISE, Fla. - On the first day of the NHL draft the Calgary Flames got a defenceman for the present in Dougie Hamilton. On the second day, they made a strong commitment to their blue line of the future.

With their first two picks, the Flames took Swedish defencemen Rasmus Andersson 53rd and traded up to get Oliver Kylington at No. 60.

"We looked at guys where we thought there was room for growth," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. "The ceiling for these guys was high. And in both cases they're skilled players."

Andersson was almost a point-a-game player for the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts, but the Kylington selection looked like it could be a steal not too far down the road.

Kylington was considered a first-round pick and could've been taken in the top 15. In the vein of 2007 second-rounder P.K. Subban, Kylington is motivated by falling so far in the draft.

"Maybe I'll follow his footsteps," Kylington said. "I think it's better for me. I think it makes me want to show everybody that maybe you should've picked me (in the top) 15."

Instead, the smooth-skating offensive defenceman fell deep into the second round and to the Flames, who spent the weekend strengthening their defence. Getting Hamilton for draft picks was a coup for Treliving on Friday, and these picks earned him some more praise.

"We go away today from where we came in two days ago in terms of our defence depth chart, I think we've helped ourselves a lot," Treliving said.

Hamilton is just 22, and Kylington said he hopes to be playing with the former Bruins defenceman soon.

"Hopefully we can be a good pair together," Kylington said.

Kylington has a year and an option year left on his contract in Sweden, which does include an NHL out clause.

"Oliver, he's an interesting player," Treliving said. "Prior to the start of the year this guy's talked about as one of the top players in the draft. He's an elite skater. He's as good a skater as there is in the draft. Now we've got to refine his game."

Beyond Andersson and Kylington, the Flames also selected Belarusian winger Pavel Karnaukhov 136th, Barrie Colts left-winger Andrew Mangiapane 166th and North Bay Battalion defenceman Riley Bruce 196th.

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