Breaking: NHL team waives two former first round picks

Next stop: Bustville.

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The Calgary Flames have placed forwards Hunter Shinkaruk and Emile Poirier and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon on waivers. The players are all expected report to the team’s AHL affiliate the Stockton Heat.

While the demotions aren’t particularly surprising, they could spell the end of the once promising players’ time in Calgary. Both Shinkaruk and Poirier were first round picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but have had a difficult time transitioning from junior hockey to the NHL. Wotherspoon was another top prospect, drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Shinkaruk may be the most disappointing of the group. Drafted 24th overall in 2013 by the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary native was shipped to the Flames in a 2016 deal for forward Markus Granlund. Flames management was lauded at the time of the acquisition as Shinkaruk looked poised to put up big numbers in the AHL and NHL. Unfortunately for the Flames, that hasn’t happened. Meanwhile, Granlund has gone on to establish himself as the go-to winger for Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin in Vancouver.

While there’s still time for all three of these young Flames players to turn their careers around, they’ll need to clear waivers if they expect to do it in Calgary.