Coronato, the Flames’ first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, comes in at 38th:
Coronato has been one of the players of the NHL preseason, regardless of experience level. And that alone should get Flames fans thrilled, with the rookie potentially snagging a top-six spot. After registering his second consecutive 36-point season with Harvard last year, Coronato turned pro and made his NHL debut before finishing as one of USA’s top players at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. Coronato has done everything right leading up to this point and he’s set for his first season of NHL duty. The Flames have shown a willingness to select smaller forwards, but former coach Darryl Sutter seemed uninterested in giving them a shot. Will that change under new coach Ryan Huska? It should, because the 5-foot-10 Coronato is going to be dangerous.
Honzek, the Flames’ first-round pick in the recent 2023 NHL Draft, comes in at 60th:
Honzek was a low-risk pick in the first round in 2023 – someone who could challenge for a spot in a year or two thanks to some solid NHL-level qualities. An injury at the world juniors didn’t help him, but Honzek showed enough this season to make me believe he’ll be a solid second-liner before too long. For a 6-foot-4 forward, he’s a good skater with a good stride and solid top speed. Add in his apparent physical strength and you’ve got a player with a bright future. Maybe not in a scoring role, but as a two-way forward with good physical attributes.
Coronato looks like a strong contender – heck, a virtual lock at this point – to start the 2023-24 NHL campaign with the Flames. After a solid, if somewhat tentative, training camp, Honzek is headed to the Western Hockey League to spend the season with the Vancouver Giants.
The Flames begin their regular season on Oct. 11.
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