An Early Development Camp Primer

It’s July, which in Calgary means horses, hay bales, cowboy hats…and Calgary Flames development camp. The club is once again holding their annual meet & greet (& skill development week) with their prospects, along with some free agent invitees.

The camp opens on Monday with fitness testing. The team usually releases the full schedule and roster the day before the camp opens, so we’ll probably get a bunch more information on Sunday, but here’s what we can suss out so far.

WHO CAN ATTEND

The CBA has shockingly clear provisions regarding which players can attend summer development camps.

  • Unsigned draft choices
  • Players in the entry-level system with less than 120 games played (who also did not play more than 70 games the previous season)
  • Draft-related unrestricted free agents
  • Draft-eligible players who weren’t chosen
  • Any player who submits a written request to attend after finishing the previous season injured.

It’s pretty exhaustive. Players you shouldn’t expect to see, among the entry-level bunch: Johnny Gaudreau & Sean Monahan, who both have played more games than the games cap allows.

Players are also not required to attend more than three camps
for the same team, but usually prospects and entry-level players attend
every year until they leave the entry-level system. For example,
Gaudreau attended camps in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, because he wanted to presumably.

WHO PROBABLY ATTENDS

Based on the prior requirements, here’s who fits:

  • G Jon Gillies
  • G Mason McDonald
  • D Keegan Kanzig
  • D Tyler Wotherspoon
  • D Patrick Sieloff
  • D Kenney Morrison
  • D Jakub Nakladal
  • D Brett Kulak
  • D Ryan Culkin
  • D Rasmus Andersson
  • D Oliver Kylington
  • D Riley Bruce
  • D Adam Ollas Mattsson
  • D Brandon Hickey
  • D John Gilmour
  • F Sam Bennett
  • F Morgan Klimchuk
  • F Emile Poirier
  • F Markus Granlund
  • F Austin Carroll
  • F Garnet Hathaway
  • F Mark Jankowski
  • F Tim Harrison
  • F Matt Deblouw
  • F Pavel Karnaukhov
  • F Hunter Smith
  • F Andrew Mangiapane

Some notes: Deblouw didn’t attend last year, I believe because he was focusing on preparing for the next school year (and season), so we’ll see if he comes this time. No Rushan Rafikov (again), likely due to visa issues coming over from Russia. AHL signee Louick Marcotte will likely attend, as well.

As you can see, a really defensive-heavy group; if everyone comes from this list, that’s 13 defenders – including basically everyone from Stockton. I’d suspect they invite a bunch of forwards to strike a balance.

From what we heard from Brad Treliving prior to the draft, expect a total number of players in camp to be in the high 30s.

INVITED PLAYERS

A 22-year-old, 6’5″ goalie from the University of New Hamphire.

A 19-year-old, 6’5″ defender/winger from the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres. Has 6 points and 148 PIMs in 79 Q games thus far.

A 19-year-old, 5’10” offensive winger from the Kelowna Rockets. Really interesting prospect, but still eligible for the 2016 Draft.

A 20-year-old, right-handed center from the Ottawa 67’s. Decent size at 6’1″, 195ish, said to have an energy game.

SUM IT UP

It’s your first chance to see many of the Flames newcomers – including Kenney Morrison and Oliver Kylington – but remember: it’s a development camp. We’ve been told to expect significantly fewer scrimmages than in year’s past. So expect lots of drills focused on skill development rather than scrimmages focused on seeing Johnny Gaudreau dangling between Keegan Kanzig’s legs.