The Calgary Flames announced the roster for their annual Prospect Development Camp held at WinSport July 10th to 15th, on Monday. The 45 man roster features the usual suspects like Sven Baertschi, Johnny Gaudreau and the recently drafted Sean Monahan but also listed 11 invitee players on tryout contracts.
It’s always interesting to look into these invitees and investigate as to whether or not any of these guys have the potential to become legitimate prospects.
Last years crop of invitees actually featured some pretty decent guys like Tim Schaller and Jared Coreau, who have since signed with
This year’s group seems a little underwhelming, however, especially when it relates to the word, "skill". It’s pretty obvious that the emphasis has been put on size, grit and defence this time around rather than goal scoring and finesse. Not one of the guys invited scored at a point per game pace or close to it last year in their respective leagues and almost all of these guys stand over six foot.
Here’s the run down (in alphabetical order):
#91 – Noel Acciari, C,
Like recent 7th round draft pick Johnny Gilmour, Acciari played on the same
#75 – Austin Carroll, RW,
The 6’4, 205 pound right winger played with fellow Flame coke machine prospect Keegan Kanzig on the WHL’s Victoria Royal’s this past season. Maybe "coke machine" is a little harsh as he did manage 15 goals and 42 points in 67 games, which isn’t too bad for a 19 year old bruiser. Oh, did I mention he racked up 152 PIM’s as well?
I’ll be interested to see how he performs at camp and to see if he’s more than just a goon. The Flames depth chart is severely lacking at right wing so adding a big, mean dude that can play the game and chip in offensively would be a welcome addition.
#70 – Brody Hoffman, G, U. of
My guess is the Calgary Flames needed to have 5 goalies in camp in case one guy gets hurt and Hoffman was the only one available because nothing about him on the surface really impresses me. The 22-year old was the starter on a presumably bad
He actually had a pretty good season the year before this with
#86 – Josh Jooris, C,
This is an invite I don’t mind at all. Jooris has played an fairly offensive role for
#98 – Curtis Leonard, D, RPI (NCAA)
The 20 year old blueliner has the size the Flames have been looking for, standing 6’3 and weighing 195 pounds and has also seen his offence production improve over the last year, scoring career best totals of five goals and 15 points in 36 games as a sophomore. I don’t know much about him, so we’ll see what he’s made of soon .
#78 – Trey Lewis, D,
Captain of the juggernaut Mooseheads, Lewis put up career best numbers this year in the form of five goals and 23 points in 59 points as well as two goals and three points in 15 playoff games en-route to a Memorial Cup win. Lewis brings a hardnosed, shutdown game with certain leadership qualities and I wouldn’t mind him get a shot in Abbotsford this season. He’s a tad undersized at 5’11, 176 pounds so he’ll probably need to overcome that if he wants to transition to the pro game.
#63 – Drew MacKenzie, D, Abbotsford Heat (AHL)
At 24, MacKenzie is the senior of the group, splitting last season with the Heat and the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. He didn’t put up big points in either league but he’s got pro size – 6’3, 203 lbs – and is probably only here for management to see his progress ahead of Heat camp this fall.
#96 – Dan O’Donoghue, C,
Another intriguing invite, O’Donoghue finished third on his team in scoring this past season with 12 goals and 36 points in 41 games, both career highs for the 22-year old Junior. He also stands at a staggering 6’5, 200 lbs which leads me to wonder about his skating ability since most guys that size don’t tend to be the fleetest of foot. That said, being a big center who can score a little is never a bad combo.
That said, being a big center who can score a little is never a bad combo.
#74 – Pavlo Padakin, RW,
I had the chance to see Padakin live on multiple occasions this past year and I’d describe him as a hardworking, utility forward. He consistently gives it his all and does have some offensive skill showcased by his 22 goals in 70 games this season. He’s a decently sized at 6’1, 192 lbs and is an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on. A strong dev camp could earn him a contract with a Flames organization team desperate for depth at the right wing position.
Padakin is one of the youngest invitees at just 19, so he’ll have to go back to junior if the Flames do indeed decide to sign him to a pro deal.
Another guy right wing, Penner is an especially interesting player because he’s just 18 years of age. He put up okay numbers in the ‘A'(JHL) last year, scoring 14 times for 34 points in 40 games and is also a big boy at 6’3, 209 pounds. His rights are owned by the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades and that’s where he’ll likely play next year barring trade. I think it’d be wise to give him a year in the ‘Dub and see how he performs before inking him to a deal, but he is young and full of promise so this camp will go a long way in dictating whether or not he gets himself a deal.
#90 – Bryce Van Brabrant, LW, Quinnipiac (NCAA)
He must be a good defensive forward because offence is clearly not his forte. Van Brabrant is coming off a career season where he scored – wait for it – 5 goals for 13 points in 42 games. Yeah, watch out for this guy on the powerplay. He is a pretty big guy at 6’3, 205 so he must have excellent defensive and physical tools to earn an invite. I guess we’ll have to see how he plays in camp but if Ross Johnston (who was here last year) can get an invite, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise Bryce Van Brabrant can too.
Overall, no one really stands out in this group of invitees – if anything, they’ll make the Flames property look better. There’s a few guys who have some promise but don’t hold your breath that any of these guys will land anything more than an AHL deal with the organization.