(Ryan Pike attended every day of the Flames development camp. We will continue roll out the interviews he collected while there this week)
When he was chosen at 22nd overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, Emile Poirier seemed like a bit of an odd choice. Traditionally full of big, burly western Canadians, the Calgary Flames have rarely drafted players from the QMJHL and the only time they chose one earlier than Poirier was in 1995, when they grabbed Denis Gauthier at 20th overall.
But Poirier may be exactly what the club needs at this point. Already full of smaller, skilled, arguably less aggressive forwards like Sven Baertschi, Johnny Gaudreau and Roman Horak, the Flames get in Poirier a 6’1", 185 pound forward who has the frame to put on some serious muscle and was also a triple digit PIM guy last year. It also help that he was a key contributor down the stretch for Gatineau and was a difference-maker through the most obvious manner of generating points – driving the net.
I had the chance to meet with Poirier last week at Calgary Flames development camp.
Ryan Pike: WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF CALGARY?
Emile Poirier: I think it’s a great city. I’ve just seen a bit, but I think the organization is great. All the staff here are amazing.
WHAT PART OF QUEBEC ARE YOU FROM?
YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T GROW UP AS A FLAMES FAN. WHO DID YOU CHEER FOR?
WELL, THAT’S A TEAM WITH SOME SERIOUS HISTORICAL RIVALRIES WITH CALGARY. FOR ANYONE THAT HASN’T SEEN YOU PLAY, CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR GAME? WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE TABLE?
A lot of energy. Offensive player, can play on both sides. I think a lot of energy, compete hard, skate fast.
YOU SHOT UP MOST DRAFT RANKINGS THIS SEASON. DID YOU FEEL ANY OF THAT MOMENTUM DOWN THE STRETCH?
Sure. As the season was going I was proving that I was capable to play hockey at that level. That’s what I’m trying to do and I’ll always know that I’m capable to do it.
Poirier will likely head back to junior this upcoming season where he will try to build on his team leading 32-goal, 70-point performance from last year.