Two minutes with Flames prospect Pat Sieloff


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Pat Sieloff was selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 NHL Draft, No. 42 overall, by the Calgary Flames. Over the summer, he shrugged off a commitment from the University of Miami at Ohio to join the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. I caught up with him before his team loaded the bus shipping out of Mississauga on Friday night after a 3-2 shootout loss to the Steelheads…

Cam Charron: There’s been a lot of talk over the summer of player’s moving from the NCAA to play in the CHL. What was the main thing that spurred your decision to move to the OHL?

Pat Sieloff: I think they play more of an NHL-type game, and the schedule looks more like an NHL schedule. You’re not, it’s not like a 40-game season instead of a 68-game season or 70-game season, you know, that’s one thing that triggered it. Also, my offensive game isn’t the best, so I kind of wanted to get better here since it’s a pretty good offensive league.

Were the Flames in any way responsible for the move at all, or did they talk to you over the course of the summer about it?

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No, they’re really good about it. They let me do what I wanted to do and they had no part in it. It’s just what I wanted to do and what was best for me.

The lockout doesn’t necessarily affect somebody your age as to where you play, but it can affect the way an organization communicates with its prospects. Are you still chatting with the Flames?

Yeah, they’re good. They’re really good about keeping up with their prospects. We check in almost every other week, even if we aren’t even playing. I think that’s one thing, they are really close to their prospects, maybe it’s like other organizations, but it’s definitely them.

Is there anything that they’re explicitly telling you to work on?

No, just play my game and have fun, because that’s the thing that keeps me happy, and if I’m not happy, then it’s not good for anyone.

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Other than the amount of games played, what’s the major difference in actual on-ice play between the NCAA and the OHL?

I think that’s one thing you’re going to argue, but I think there’s more draft picks out there. You’re playing against guys that have that NHL experience, there’s guys who are, but in every OHL game, there’s 8 or 9 guys who belong to an NHL organization. It’s just real high competition.

And tougher standards on hitting?

[Laughs] Yeah, definitely.

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Sieloff had avoided a suspension for a hit the previous night against Justin Bailey of the Kitchener Rangers, the first heavily-debated hit of the 2012-13 season. 

  • T&A4Flames

    Wow! That was a Phaneufesque hit. The other thing I have noted in watching, now, a few of the Spitfires highlights is that Sieloff doesn’t ever seem to be on the ice when the opposing team scores. I haven’t looked but does anyone know what his +/- is? If he can hit like that without sacrificing defensive positioning to often, he’ll do well, me thinks. Oh, and his penalty minutes are WAY above anyone else, I guess he’s ok with roughing it up a bit.

    • Reidja

      He was -2 in his first game, even since then. That’s what scares me about him, he reminds me of Phaneuf. Phaneuf’s big hits put him out of position just about every time. I have lots of memories of him turning the tide against us with a big hit (or a missed attempt at a big hit), none positive.

      • Sworkhard

        the comparison to Dion doesn’t really fly for me. I mean, Sieloff likes his heavy hits, sure, but Phaneuf likes to jump into the offense. Sieloff doesn’t really. Sieloff’s biggest asset is his head (he’s smart) whereas Phaneuf has never been known as a particularly bright player.

        and anyway, Sieloff is a good enough skater that he should be able to recover from at least some ill-advised hits.

        • Sworkhard

          I haven’t seen enough of him to know. I wasn’t too impressed at development camp where an attempt at a big hit put him out for the week. I do like the physical element, just am wary of guys known for making the big open ice hit. I just don’t think since Scott Stevens there’s been anyone capable of playing that way consistently.
          I can’t see how anyone could skate well enough to recover from a bad one. It’s usually on a rush. If you so much as lose a step on a rush, it’s over, say nothing of laying in a heap by the boards.

  • MC Hockey

    Hi all, A bit off topic but I saw Miikka Kiprusoff walking out of CPR building here in Calgary yesterday (there are medical offices in there). Perhaps he is more optimistic about CBA settlement that others…

  • Sworkhard

    Watching that hit was like a breath of fresh air. When was the last time we saw a Flame Dman make a hit like that? You need that element to intelligently patrol the blueline. If it causes the odd goal against, oh well, it will prevent way more in the long run.