Development Camp 2013: Day One Impressions

Ryan Pike
July 12 2013 08:09AM

 

 

The first day of on-ice work is complete at Calgary Flames Development Camp 2013. While it's incredibly difficult to say who was good or bad based on a series of skating and puck-handling drills, here were my general impressions of the first few sessions.

THE 2013 DRAFT CLASS

The recent draft picks generally looked good. Sean Monahan appears to be physically ready to compete for an NHL job. For reference, he's a tad bigger and wider than Max Reinhart, Roman Horak and Sven Baertschi. He's unlikely to face the same concerns from on-lookers about getting muscled off the puck. He also displayed a very accurate wrist shot.

Emile Poirier is fast. Really fast. His stride does appear to be a bit odd, in a mechanical sense, but he gets up to speed really quickly and retains maneuverability. Very impressive. Similarly, Keegan Kanzig is incredibly big and his skating appears to be better than advertised. He's by no means the best skater on the ice, but he was more mobile than I expected him to be.

Arguably the biggest surprise from the new batch was sixth rounder Tim Harrison. He's big, but plays like a smaller guy. He's quite mobile and uses his body surprisingly well. He's a project, but I was very impressed with the small sample size I got from him.

I didn't particularly notice Morgan Klimchuk, but to be fair, there were a lot of guys on the ice.

THE OLDER PROSPECTS

Johnny Gaudreau is a tad more filled out than he was a year ago. He's not taller, but he appears to be living in a dorm near a gym and eating regular meals. Similarly, Mark Jankowski has physically progressed pretty well. According to the Flames website's Torie Peterson, he's up to six-foot-three (and a half) and gained 14 pounds from this time last year. It shows on the ice.

Both Flames goaltenders in Group A – Reto Berra and Jon Gillies – looked strong. Berra made a handful of really strong desperation saves, while Gillies just did what he does – being huge and blocking off the net. Brossoit and Ortio were both solid in Group B from what I saw.

Corban Knight and Kenny Agostino both looked strong in the puck-handling and two-on-one drills. Turner Elson did a fairly good job creating traffic in front of the net during several drills, to the point where one defender (I couldn't tell who precisely) shoved him into the net and knocked it off its moorings in frustration.

OTHER NOTES

Lots children circulated around the Winsport complex, many of whom wrangled with each other for Flames prospect autographs. FN fave Mikael Backlund also appeared, doing a few interviews about his fancy new contract and signing autographs. Kids really wanted autographs from Monahan, Sven Baertschi and Gaudreau, it seems, but they were buzzing around all the players whenever they were off the ice. Hockey market.

Hard to say if Ryan Howse and/or Michael Ferland are in appreciably better shape than last year. A lot of guys were huffing and puffing late in the sessions, but that can easily be attributed to the coaching staff pushing them hard, as well as the fact that it was a lot of the players' first times on the ice in awhile.

Players with low numbers today: Sean Monahan with #23, Roman Horak with #21, Corban Knight with #10. And due to the hard work of Flames equipment manager Mark DiPasquale, all the jerseys had numbers crested on them. Three cheers!

A LOOK AHEAD

There's scrimmages at 10am on Saturday and Monday. So plan your absences from work and/or families accordingly.

Last day for Got Loob? Shirts

Today is the cut off point to buy your limited edition Got Loob? FN shirt. If we can close out sales with a bang and sell out the first batch inventory, we'll be sure to print and sell other designs in the near future. Leading contenders are Intellectual Honesty and GRITCHART in my mind...

Click here to buy.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#1 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
July 12 2013, 01:17PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

A 20 yr old with beer! Lock your doors.

I once drank beer when I was 16. Now, I live in a car down by the river.

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#2 Avalain
July 12 2013, 09:43AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

"Roman Horak with #21"

Am I alone in saying I really liked #51 for Horak?

For some reason, I'd really like him to wear XXI. Must be his first name...

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#3 Kent Wilson
July 12 2013, 11:27AM
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@Jeff Lebowski

I'd like to interview both Weisbrod and Snow one day.

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#4 Scary Gary
July 12 2013, 01:08PM
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@Benten

A 20 yr old with beer! Lock your doors.

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#5 vowswithin
July 12 2013, 08:26AM
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What does the low numbered Jerseys signify? The possibility of being on opening day roster?

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#6 Avalain
July 12 2013, 08:28AM
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Thanks for posting this! I've been waiting eagerly to hear what you have to say about the prospects. Actually, it all sounds quite good!

How would you compare Jankowski to our 3 1st round picks this year? I'm only interested because, well, he was really close to be in this years draft.

I'm really excited about Poirier. Fast players can make for some exciting hockey and I really love to see things happen in transition.

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#7 Baalzamon
July 12 2013, 08:28AM
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"Roman Horak with #21"

Am I alone in saying I really liked #51 for Horak?

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#8 SeanCharles
July 12 2013, 08:31AM
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vowswithin wrote:

What does the low numbered Jerseys signify? The possibility of being on opening day roster?

Lower number usually means they are close to being NHL ready. Brodie got switched to 7 a year or so back and Backlund got switched to 11 when he was ready to make the team.

I liked Horak in #51 also

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#9 gotommygo
July 12 2013, 08:34AM
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Speaking of Jankowski, did anyone notice that he's been added to the Canada Junior Team summer development camp roster? Maybe this has been mentioned in previous comments.

Now that's two of the Flames draft 'reaches' that are invited to the camp.

Of course, the man selecting the team, Ryan Jankowski has probably seen him play a few times -- it's his uncle I believe.

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#10 lionlager
July 12 2013, 09:14AM
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@gotommygo

Ah, I was wondering about that last name. The world juniors will be a blast if all the Flames kids make it on the team.

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#11 gotommygo
July 12 2013, 09:20AM
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@lionlager

That would be awesome to have three on the team. Would also be great to see how Janko stacks up against players from the CHL and Europe.

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#12 Scary Gary
July 12 2013, 09:37AM
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@gotommygo

Who wants to go to Sweden!

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#13 Jeff Lebowski
July 12 2013, 09:40AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

"Roman Horak with #21"

Am I alone in saying I really liked #51 for Horak?

I despise NASCAR numbers. The lower the better.

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#14 gotommygo
July 12 2013, 09:51AM
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@Avalain

'For some reason, I'd really like him to wear XXI. Must be his first name...'

LOL, nice one!

I wonder when they going to give Svenny a nice low number?

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#15 SeanCharles
July 12 2013, 10:01AM
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gotommygo wrote:

'For some reason, I'd really like him to wear XXI. Must be his first name...'

LOL, nice one!

I wonder when they going to give Svenny a nice low number?

If he switched it would only be to 27. But after his comments last season I doubt he'll change.

He said something along the lines of "alot of fans have already bought my #47 jersey so I'll stick with it"

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#16 Rockmorton65
July 12 2013, 10:07AM
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@SeanCharles

Wow, sounds like Sven's got his head screwed on the right way. Nice to see c

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#17 Thprop1
July 12 2013, 10:08AM
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That comment by Sven made me think we drafted a character guy right after I heard it.

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#18 gotommygo
July 12 2013, 10:12AM
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@SeanCharles

A class act!

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#19 Jeff Lebowski
July 12 2013, 11:19AM
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I have a few thoughts about this whole deal:

These are Calgary's prospects (plus free agents) so because Monahan, Gaudreau look really good compared to THEM is kind of good, how do they compare to other teams' best prospects? I mean just look at the FN prospect rankings. However, the fact that a lot of kids got time in the show against NHLers last year allows one to compare younger prospects to those with NHL time is really very good.

Because Calgary's college prospects can't play in Young Stars tourney it's easy to get carried away in their projections with the org. When you take the draft pick pedigree away or the stature they have on their non pro teams (their stats) does one see good NHL talent?

What I'm hoping develops is that the prospects love the quality of the potential teammates they could have. I don't just mean Gaudreau liking familiar face Agostino is in the org rather, there are good, smart, skilled players here and we could have a lot of fun. Also I'm hoping the character and work ethic of guys like Sven, Monahan and Klimchuck rub off on the other guys.

How can you not feel optimistic?

-I've been google video searching 'John Weisbrod Calgary Flames'. He seems like a really, really thoughtful guy. I would love to see a FN in depth interview with him. FN often asks interesting questions in the articles, would love to see Weisbrod's take on a wide range of topics.

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#20 Christian Roatis
July 12 2013, 11:26AM
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@Jeff Lebowski

Weisbrod scares me haha

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#21 Bean-counting cowboy
July 12 2013, 11:27AM
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So if Monahan makes this team I see our lines as follows:

Cammy/Backlund/Hudler Glencross/Stajan/Stempniak Baertschi/Monahan/Jones Galiardi/Knight/Jackman

Injury replacements would be: McGratton, Horak, Bouma, Hanowski

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#22 Christian Roatis
July 12 2013, 11:36AM
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Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

So if Monahan makes this team I see our lines as follows:

Cammy/Backlund/Hudler Glencross/Stajan/Stempniak Baertschi/Monahan/Jones Galiardi/Knight/Jackman

Injury replacements would be: McGratton, Horak, Bouma, Hanowski

I think having Knight and Galiardi on the 4th line is a waste of their talents.

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#23 Jeff Lebowski
July 12 2013, 11:41AM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

Weisbrod scares me haha

In what way? Is he kind of intimidating or are you scared of what his results might be?

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#24 Jeff Lebowski
July 12 2013, 11:49AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I'd like to interview both Weisbrod and Snow one day.

Yeah Snow. Does he go to Sloan?

-t shirt suggestion: FN. Awesome.

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#25 BJ
July 12 2013, 11:53AM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

I think having Knight and Galiardi on the 4th line is a waste of their talents.

It could be ok if the team is run is run a bit differently and all 4 lines are given more equal ice time.

As long as Cammy and Stajan An stempniak get their time to maximize trade value i am happy... after that it should depend on performance regardless of which line is supposedly slotted as 3rd or 4th line or whatver.

I would like to see players put together that complement each other forget about numbering the ljnes and then let them fight for ice time.

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#26 clyde
July 12 2013, 11:53AM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

I think having Knight and Galiardi on the 4th line is a waste of their talents.

Then we need to move Cammy and Stajan. Or just Cammy and flip Knight and Stajan. Urbom and a 2nd for Cammy?

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#27 clyde
July 12 2013, 11:55AM
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BJ wrote:

It could be ok if the team is run is run a bit differently and all 4 lines are given more equal ice time.

As long as Cammy and Stajan An stempniak get their time to maximize trade value i am happy... after that it should depend on performance regardless of which line is supposedly slotted as 3rd or 4th line or whatver.

I would like to see players put together that complement each other forget about numbering the ljnes and then let them fight for ice time.

The line up above does speak to trying something like that. That may be the plan.

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#28 Benten
July 12 2013, 12:31PM
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I went to a game at the end of the year and after the game I went to the parking lot to try meet the players Sven stopped (he was very nice) and signed my jersey.... Anyway he had what I'm assuming as friends with him because they didn't look like any players I knew, the passenger had a cup of beer in his hands and Sven had a cup fill in his drink holder. I love sven and its most likely because he is young and gaining fame but people are talking about his character and I just don't know if he is really that great of a person but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt right or wrong.

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#29 suba steve
July 12 2013, 01:33PM
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@Benten

So, he was nice enough to sign your jersey...and now you are ratting him out and questioning his character because his friend had a beer? Classy.

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#30 gotommygo
July 12 2013, 01:55PM
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@Benten

He drank a beer after playing a hockey game. No offense intended to Mr. Baertschi, but that makes him sound, well, Canadian.

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#31 ?
July 12 2013, 02:16PM
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Watching some Morgan Klimchuk highlights, and the guy reminds me alot of Mike Richards. His style, the way he plays. Is that an accurate description of him as a player?(not saying he'll be Mike Richards, just saying that I think they play the game similarly)

Maybe it's just because he wears number 18 with the Pats, and Richards used to wear 18 with Philly back when he was good. Go figure.

Here's the video for reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju3r_UhMhmw

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#32 schevvy
July 12 2013, 02:17PM
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@Benten

Well then, I guess he's a bust. Drinking beer cannot be good for a hockey player, just ask Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and...oh, they're alright at hockey

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#33 Avalain
July 12 2013, 02:35PM
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schevvy wrote:

Well then, I guess he's a bust. Drinking beer cannot be good for a hockey player, just ask Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and...oh, they're alright at hockey

I was going to jump on him for this too, but to be completely fair I think his issue was more about drinking beer in the car, which isn't something you really want to do if you like keeping your license.

That being said, Sven's attitude throughout the last season has been admirable IMO.

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#34 Benten
July 12 2013, 03:22PM
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People are getting me all wrong I love Sven I think he is going to be great I max out his stats on nhl13 And snipe with him all the time he was the only player I really wanted to stop. As for "ratting" him out last I checked this is a hockey blog and I was just sharing what I saw wasn't meant to be negative furthermore I know what it's like to lose someone from a drunk driver, I'd hate for him to have his career messed one way or another and more there was people/kids around I don't think that is how the flames organization would want him to show himself.... Just saying. I'm excited for he future just like the rest of you and I know Sven is going to be a big part of it.

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#35 Benten
July 12 2013, 03:25PM
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Dany Heatley was a great hockey player to but he has made mistakes from drinking

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#36 Benten
July 12 2013, 03:40PM
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I will apologize to RyanP for getting this article off topic wasn't trying to be negative in anyway. Great article.

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#37 McRib
July 12 2013, 04:17PM
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People really seem to be underselling TJ Galiardi.... He always was worst case a third liner for me who could step up into a Top. 6 role or jump into the Second Unit PP and produce. The Flames are not nearly as deep as his former club, who knows he might end up being a capable second liner for us, but in no way is he a fourth liner for me. The thing I like about the Flames this season is our players are going to have to earn their ice time, sometimes that can be a really good thing.

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#38 McRib
July 12 2013, 04:38PM
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Mikael Backlund has to stay healthy this season, because Sean Monahan & Corbin Knight could end up putting a lot of pressure on him if he misses time.

Sean Monahan's situation will be very interesting if he makes the club, by the end of the season who knows he could already be our first line centre the guy just makes good players better with his Hockey IQ. Michael Cammalleri clearly recognizes this having spent time with him this offseason the trade rumours seem to have gone away at least now that he sees whats coming up. People look at Monahan's 78 points on a weak club and thankfully are starting to give him more credit for offensive potential, but he also missed 14 games he was on pace in a 72 game season for 96 points on a weak club. He is a Top. 3 talent and could surprise people who weren't even critics of his to start with.

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#39 MC Hockey
July 12 2013, 06:32PM
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Well..interesting comment trail....Just ignoring the Sven comments as perhaps that story is just made up. Just a note to McRib, it is confusing when you type "Top 3" as "Top. 3" because it seems like two sentences with that period and no reason to put a period after the word "Top". But I digress....! My only real comment is that people who never saw Porier or Kanzig play should be quiet. It seems ( based on this article) those who were very critical of those draft choices are starting to be proved wrong or at least shortsighted. Maybe Kanzig has future potential (the next Chara) and Porier is certainly fast. Go figure eh?

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#40 jai kiran
July 12 2013, 09:56PM
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I don't hate the Kanzig pick, and it'd be great to have a big tough D that can skate and think. But the next Chara seems like a mighty big claim.

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#41 Burnward
July 12 2013, 11:26PM
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Benten wrote:

Dany Heatley was a great hockey player to but he has made mistakes from drinking

Wasn't drunk.

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#42 Jeff In Lethbridge
July 13 2013, 09:12AM
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i was hangin around to get a jersey signed, and saw Sven help an old lady cross the streat, catch a criminal, and go to church and pray for 1 hour.

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#43 Brent G.
July 13 2013, 10:37AM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

i was hangin around to get a jersey signed, and saw Sven help an old lady cross the streat, catch a criminal, and go to church and pray for 1 hour.

I bet he was chewing gum though ... attitude problems...

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