That pick could become a third-rounder if Colborne scores 10 goals or reaches 35 points this season and the Flames make the playoffs.
Calgary's GM Jay Feaster said that the Flames had been watching Colborne (6-5, 23 years old) for a while and finally made an offer.
“As an organization we have had many discussions this past year about Joe, but never made an offer,” he said in a statement. “With the opportunity to speak with Brian Burke [Flames' director of hockey operations] and learn about Joe's hockey sense and character from someone who had him as a player and knows him so well, it became clear to us that this is the type of young, big center we need. He fits in very well with our rebuild and provides size up the middle.”
Burke, formerly the GM of the Leafs, was presumably intrigued by Colborne's combination of size and skill.
Colborne, who has just 16 NHL appearances in his career, was fighting to make the Leafs' roster but is expected to see significant time with the rebuilding Flames.