Mason McDonald and Brandon Hickey Invited To Hockey Canada Summer Camp

As the Calgary Flames prepare to add to their prospect base at the 2015 NHL Draft at the end of the week, they’ve gotten a bit of good news regarding a couple of their 2014 drafted players.

Goaltender Mason McDonald and defenseman Brandon Hickey were two of the 40 players invited to Hockey Canada’s U20 summer development camp. Part of the organization’s inaugural National Teams’ Summer Showcase that also includes camps for the U17 and U18 programs, the U20 camp goes August 1-6 in Calgary at Canada Olympic Park’s Markin MacPhail Centre.

Calgary’s second round selection (34th overall) in last year’s draft, McDonald had a pretty strong year for the Charlottetown Islanders, finishing second in the QMJHL in save percentage and playing a ton of hockey – a huge thing for him at this stage of his development. He’s one of three goalies invited to the camp, the oldest goalie invited, and the only one drafted by an NHL club.

Calgary’s third round pick (64 overall) in 2014, Hickey was a freshman for Boston University’s powerhouse team that marched all the way to the NCAA championship game before hitting a wall named Jon Gillies in the final. Hickey’s play earned a lot of praise from everyone from Flames GM Brad Treliving to many college hockey insiders. His first NCAA season was very good, but there’s a sense that’s just scratching the surface of what he can do at that level. He’s one of 13 defenders invited to the camp.

The camp doesn’t determine the World Junior roster – that camp is in early December – but a strong performance can solidify a player’s spot on Hockey Canada’s radar.

    • piscera.infada

      I’m really excited for Hickey. Everything I’ve heard about his first NCAA season is extremely positive–that includes praise from one Ryan Lambert.

      • piscera.infada

        Watched him in junior a fair bit and he just seemed to get better every time I saw him. The Flames were lucky to get him in the third. If he keeps progressing like he is, Flames fans are going to be very happy. Like Johnny, I see him in a Flames jersey after his junior year.

        • piscera.infada

          I still think Smith’s in tough to make the show–I just don’t see his skating as anywhere near good enough. I’ll start getting excited when he proves he can keep-up and produce in the AHL. Although I do agree that we shouldn’t write him off.

          To the orginal comment from @Kenta though: I know your prerogative is to rag on the scouts and GM (no matter who they are), and that’s fine, but if two of Bennett, MacDonald, Hickey, Ollas-Maatsson, Smith, or Carroll, end up as NHLers (or valuable trade chips), you’re already looking at a solid draft. It looks like at least two of those are trending in a very positive way (Bennett, and two a lesser extent Hickey).

          • SmellOfVictory

            Yeah, but Bennett was basically a gimme. I think, in order to call it a well-scouted draft, we need to see Bennett plus two other guys become NHLers (or one of the non-Bennett guys has to become an impact NHLer).

          • BurningSensation

            It’s funny, but once-upon a time ‘skating issues’ was essentially a fatal flaw. Now, not so much. Id add too that his skating is definitely better than last year, and while I don’t think he’ll ever snipe 30, he could certainly be a big, defensively responsible, grinding weapon in the middle of the roster.

            Bennett, Smith, MacDonald, and Hickey all look to be NHL players moving fwd. A massive haul for one draft.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Read the comment again – “Other than” means I’m fine with the rest of last year’s draft. Another pseudo intellectual left behind by Cowtown’s education system.

  • everton fc

    When I think of Hickey, Culkin, Wotherspoon, Kulak, Morrison, Mattsson (who is a big kid), Kanzig, Rafikov… We don’t look so bad, in terms of depth, on the backend if a few of the “aforementioned” pan out.

    • SmellOfVictory

      The depth doesn’t look bad, but the issue that most people have is that it’s perceived as having a low top-end. None of those guys is expected to be more than maybe a #4 dman. Although I personally think Hickey could be a very good top 4 dman, and we might be surprised by one or two of the others.

      • SmellOfVictory

        When the Flames have Gio, Brodie, Russell only need to have one of them be in the top 4 d-men. And if anyone else surprises in the next 3 years that is a bonus!