Canada

Calgary Flames draft Jakob Pelletier at No. 26

VANCOUVER—The Calgary Flames selected forward Jakob Pelletier with the 26th pick in the NHL draft on Friday.

Pelletier, five-foot-nine and 165 pounds, is coming off his second season with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats. The 18-year-old winger from Quebec City produced 39 goals and 89 points in 65 games with the Wildcats in 2018-19, after averaging a point per game in his rookie campaign.

He has played internationally for Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the under-18 world championship.

Calgary has four other picks this year, starting with the 88th selection. It’s a major difference from the 2018 event, where the Flames didn’t have a single pick in the first three rounds after trading multiple selections to New York Islanders for defenceman Travis Hamonic.

Despite the lack of picks, Calgary managed to grab headlines with a blockbuster trade. Midway through day two of the draft, the Flames sent star defenceman Dougie Hamilton, forward Michael Ferland and prospect Adam Fox to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Elias Lindholm and defenceman Noah Hanifin.

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Lindholm went on to be the Flames’ third-leading scorer this season, notching 27 goals and 51 assists in 78 games. Hanifin registered a career-high 33 points.

Calgary finished the year atop the Pacific Division, but fizzled in the playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche ousted the team from round one in just five games.

The last time the Flames picked in the first round was 2017, when they took Juuso Valimaki 16th overall. The Finnish defenceman played 24 games for Calgary last season, tallying a goal and two assists.

Back in 2016, the Flames chose Matthew Tkachuk with their first-round pick, drafting the Scottsdale, Ariz. native sixth overall. The left winger has since become a crucial piece for Calgary, producing 34 goals and 43 assists last season.

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