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.