Prospect Camp Game Day: Flames vs. Ducks

Robert Cleave
September 13 2010 07:13AM

 

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 25: Mikael Backlund #60 of the Calgary Flames flips the puck into the offensive zone past Jeff Tambellini #15 of the New York Islanders during an NHL game at the Nassau Coliseum on March 25, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

South Okanagan Events Center

5 PM MT

flames.nhl.com

fan960.com

Hockey of a sort begins later this afternoon for the Flames, as the youngsters open their portion of Penticton's Young Stars against the Ducklings. I'm glad that the club decided to be part of this event, if for no other reason than the fact that we get to a glimpse of how the prospect corps matches up against a few other teams' future big leaguers, so maybe we can get a sense of whether the angst that the subject of drafting and development appears to create in some of the fan base is fully warranted.

The club is bringing a fairly experienced roster to the Okanagan, in relative terms. That's mostly a by-product of Abbotsford's playoff run last spring, as the organization had an opportunity to blood a number of graduating juniors over a couple of rounds of action. As Kent noted in comments last night, there a few players of interest in this event, with Backlund, Wahl, and John Negrin being at the forefront for me. Negrin ended up having a terrible year physically, but when I watched him play early in the season against the Manitoba Moose, he looked pretty calm for a player less than 10 games into his AHL career. He plies his trade in an area of depth, so he's likely at least two more seasons away from a shot at the NHL even under ideal circumstances, but I am curious about his mobility post-injury.

The one other roster note is that Ryan Howse was on the limp yesterday, which might make him unavailable for the week's activities, which is a bit of a shame. The players in this tournament are half a level or more above the usual fare of the Dub, and I was interested in seeing if his game translated. Logan MacMillan is also out as he continues recovery from a hernia operation, with the former Duck prospect holding out hope of action by Thursday.

His former club's youth had their first go of the week last night against the Shark prospects, falling 4-1. 2010 first rounder Cam Fowler and Kelowna standout Brandon McMillan are a couple of players of interest for the Ducks. From the action I had a chance to watch, Timo Pielmeier kept the future Ducks in the game in the first period before the Sharks were finally able to break things open. As always, though, we're watching young men that are just getting familiar with one another, so there was some scratchy play in the collective.

As for tonight, this should be a chance for Mikael Backlund to start taking control of proceedings. I'm fairly certain that more than a few people are of the opinion that the Swede is being unfairly pushed back to the AHL at the expense of an old dude or two, but to be blunt, he didn't dominate his peer group last season, and that's the normal first step before considering a player ready to progress to the NHL. If he and Mitch Wahl are becoming the players we'd all like them to be, we should begin to see the signs this week when they're working against their contemporaries.

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Robert Cleave is a perpetually grumpy Winnipegger.
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#1 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 08:12AM
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Here is the Flames tournament roster if anyone is wondering.

Lots of familiar names plus a couple of try-outs, including:

Cam Lanigan (Oil Kings goalie)

Matt Clark (defenseman)

GIFFEN NYREN (defenseman)

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#2 jess
September 13 2010, 11:03AM
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I wish I could go see Wahl. I guess I'll have to wait until he's kicking ass in Abbotsford!

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#3 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 01:05PM
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Cruickshank has the lines from practice:

Bouma-Backlund-Rheault

Patterson-Armstrong-Nemisz

Bancks-Wahl-Cameron

Grantham-Reinhart-Holland

Meyers-Leach

Breen-Seabrook

Negrin-Brodie

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#4 nsmig
September 13 2010, 01:12PM
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Any word on how the game went? Did anyone impress you?

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#5 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 02:03PM
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nsmig wrote:

Any word on how the game went? Did anyone impress you?

Game goes tonight my friend. 5pm.

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#6 Justin Azevedo
September 13 2010, 05:24PM
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Not a bad effort thus far. 1-0 ANA. Observations: -Breen-Seabrook is a very slow pairing...Breen is struggling even going Blue to Blue. -Negrin and Brodie are looking good for the most part. Playfair has used them on the PP and PK (which they were scored on). -None of the forwards are doing anything spectacular, but holy crap Nemisz is huge.

The stream is here if you wanna watch: http://youngstars.insinc.com/

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#7 Justin Azevedo
September 13 2010, 05:29PM
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2-1 Flames. Wahl with a sick cross ice pass to Cameron who puts it top ched, and some great hands from Rheault in front of the net for a goal.

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#9 SmellOfVictory
September 13 2010, 06:01PM
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Loubardias, you beautiful man, how I've missed your voice.

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#10 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:04PM
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Just got in. How are we doing? Rheault with a pair?

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#11 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:09PM
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3 goals on 9 shots? Sheesh Keetley.

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#12 SmellOfVictory
September 13 2010, 06:10PM
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That be correct. Second goal was basically a one-man show. The little I've seen of Brodie is really nice. He does have some wheels, which is pleasant for anyone belonging to the franchise.

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#13 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:11PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

That be correct. Second goal was basically a one-man show. The little I've seen of Brodie is really nice. He does have some wheels, which is pleasant for anyone belonging to the franchise.

Good stuff.

Like what I've seen from Rheault the few times I've seen him. Course, he's a lot older than many of these guys.

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#15 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:18PM
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Sounds about what one would expect then.

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#16 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:20PM
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Nice little sequence from the Wahl group there.

Looks like Backlund scored a goal when I walked away from the computer as well.

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#18 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:26PM
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That's what I've gathered from the latter half of the second period here...the Ducks group looks grossly overmatched.

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#19 SmellOfVictory
September 13 2010, 06:30PM
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Little rebound tap-in on the PP. Backlund looks almost like he's on vacation occasionally, and I'm going to be interested to see if he ramps it up tomorrow when he's playing the darlings of the tournament.

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#21 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:37PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Little rebound tap-in on the PP. Backlund looks almost like he's on vacation occasionally, and I'm going to be interested to see if he ramps it up tomorrow when he's playing the darlings of the tournament.

That's the book on Backlund - dominates sometimes, coasts others. It's apparently one of the reasons he wasn't getting along with his coach in Sweden.

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#22 Austin
September 13 2010, 06:45PM
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@Kent Wilson

another good goal by the flames. Nice shot, not much skill though, alot of men in front of the net, if thats the way you score goals though, so be it. Nice to see the prospects working well

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#23 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:46PM
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Here's a question...has anyone noticed Nemisz at all?

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#25 Justin Azevedo
September 13 2010, 06:54PM
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Cameron just crushed that guy! He's like 8 inches smaller too! lol

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#26 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 06:56PM
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Oh Loubardias...

Palmieri breaks in and shoots, puck hits the crossbar...........................................................

"Palmieri rips it off the crossbar!" he says. About 8 seconds after the play.

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#27 Austin
September 13 2010, 06:59PM
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@Kent Wilson

WOOOW very physical game just erupted, ya loubardias was pretty slow on that hahaha

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#28 Austin
September 13 2010, 07:04PM
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Wow Bancks has some pretty good speed, havn't noticed Nemisz too much.... decent physical play then agian he is huge...

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#29 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 07:05PM
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Bancks kind of reminds me of Byron Ritchie

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#30 Austin
September 13 2010, 07:07PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Bancks kind of reminds me of Byron Ritchie

Agreed.

Grantham is quite physical

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#31 Justin Azevedo
September 13 2010, 07:09PM
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And there's the hatty.

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#32 Austin
September 13 2010, 07:10PM
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wow another goal, Rheault Backlund Cameron is one great line. I never even knew Rheault was this good.

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#33 Justin Azevedo
September 13 2010, 07:11PM
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Austin wrote:

wow another goal, Rheault Backlund Cameron is one great line. I never even knew Rheault was this good.

Well, he is 24 so keep that in mind.

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#34 SmellOfVictory
September 13 2010, 07:11PM
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Whoever this assclown with Loubardias is, his spiel about how awesome Rheault is for being small and in front of the net is stupid. He can sit in front of the net at that size because the defensive work of these kids is terrible.

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#35 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 07:12PM
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How has Cameron looked boys? I saw a couple of nice plays by him in my limited viewing.

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#36 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 07:12PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Whoever this assclown with Loubardias is, his spiel about how awesome Rheault is for being small and in front of the net is stupid. He can sit in front of the net at that size because the defensive work of these kids is terrible.

I think it's Gene Principe.

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#37 caleb
September 13 2010, 07:13PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Bancks kind of reminds me of Byron Ritchie

because they both played for the hurricanes?

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#38 Austin
September 13 2010, 07:13PM
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Hey Nemisz actually did something!! Too bad he got leveled

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#39 thefanblogger
September 13 2010, 07:15PM
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who is this Jon "freakin" Rheault man he is he good or something.

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#40 walkinvisible
September 13 2010, 07:16PM
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i just got home and am thoroughly unsurprised by the rheault domination. as we noticed in prospect camp, he looked far more polished as a player (like kent says, due to his 4-5 years additional seasoning). how's meyers looking ? armstrong ?

it's starting to look like the big flames should have the baby flames take their powerplays.

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#41 Austin
September 13 2010, 07:17PM
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I don't know who Rheault is, but he's doin good!!! Well i sure hope Keetley isn't our goalie of the future.

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#42 Justin Azevedo
September 13 2010, 07:17PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yes, it is Principe. Cameron is top tier for this game-he's been moving well and has had made a couple of plays. Haven't noticed him doing anything negative skating wise.

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#44 groundhog12@live.ca
September 13 2010, 07:18PM
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Meyers looks good, Armstrong isn't too noticeable.

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#46 thefanblogger
September 13 2010, 07:21PM
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@Austin

I go slammed for putting him as a top 6 forward was told was a idiot by people I wonder if they know him now.

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#47 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 07:34PM
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Yeah Rheault stood out at the prospects camp too. It can't be emphasized enough that he's 24 years old though. Most guys his age aren't playing against kids anymore.

I think he'll be a capable player for the Heat this year.

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#48 Austin
September 13 2010, 09:05PM
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@Kent Wilson

so how come he can't make it unto the big team this year? well not necessarily this year because if Backlund cant he probably won't, but why hasn't he yet?

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#49 Kent Wilson
September 13 2010, 10:31PM
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Austin wrote:

so how come he can't make it unto the big team this year? well not necessarily this year because if Backlund cant he probably won't, but why hasn't he yet?

Because Rheault was a free agent signee who has spent most of his time in the ECHL since leaving NCAA. He's barely played at the AHL level.

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