The Calgary Flames selected forward Matthew Coronato with the 13th-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Coronato is a talented goal scorer who was named 2021 USHL Forward of the Year after his second season with the Chicago Steel.
The right-shot right winger recorded a franchise record 48 goals in 51 regular-season games with the Steel. He had 85 points in total and added another nine goals and 13 points in only eight playoff games.
The Greenlawn, N.Y., native is not quite NHL ready but he’ll continue his development at the college level in 2021-22 having already committed to Harvard University.
The Flames took centre Connor Zary in 2020 and winger Jakob Pelletier in 2019 with their past two first-round selections but, overall, the team doesn’t have a plethora of high-end prospects lining the organizational depth chart at the moment. In fact, defenceman Juuso Valimaki is the only Flames draft pick since 2016 to play more than three NHL games.
Calgary has one second-rounder, two thirds, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh with which to work when the draft resumes on Saturday.
The Flames acquired forward Tyler Pitlick from Seattle for a fourth-round pick Thursday, one day after losing captain Mark Giordano to the Kraken in Wednesday’s expansion draft.
With Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm currently the only forwards under contract beyond the 2022-23 season, this is another key off-season for general manager Brad Treliving and a Flames team that hasn’t advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs since the team’s Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2004.