Development camp 2018: Glenn Gawdin is looking to establish himself

A year ago, Glenn Gawdin was a player without a home. Originally a fourth round selection of the St. Louis Blues in the 2015 NHL Draft, he wasn’t signed by them and went through the 2017 Draft unclaimed. But his fortunes began to turn when he accepted an invite from the Calgary Flames to attend development camp.

Development camp turned into prospect camp, and prospect camp turned into main camp. By mid-November he had an entry-level contract inked with the Flames and his overage season became an exuberant punctuation mark on a solid junior career. He finished second in the WHL in scoring with 125 points – more than double his previous season’s total and four points shy of the top spot – and he captained the Swift Current Broncos to a WHL Championship, being named the league’s most valuable postseason player.

Given his goal of eventually suiting up in the NHL, signing with the Flames was a big milestone for Gawdin to hit.

“It was a dream come true,” said Gawdin at Flames development camp. “Something I’ve been working towards for a long time now, and I think it’s just the beginning. Obviously it’s just one step in the direction I’m trying to go, obviously going in the right direction and gonna continue to work.”

A veteran of five full seasons in the WHL – and over 300 games – Gawdin is a classic example of a player that came into junior at 16 and worked his way up. Now he’s headed into the uncharted waters of pro hockey, and he’s aware that he’ll have to start from scratch once again.

“In junior you kind of know where you fit in and what your position is and now you’re trying to earn that,” said Gawdin. “For me, I’m trying to show them what kind of player I am and I can fit in all different situations. I think for them it’s trying to find a good fit and I’m willing to take any position or role I’m given.”

Gawdin’s introduction to pro hockey comes at an interesting time for the organization. The NHL club added the likes of James Neal, Elias Lindholm and Derek Ryan to their ranks, while the depth group now has Buddy Robinson, Tyler Graovac and Alan Quine – all players with NHL experience. Gawdin is one of the young players that sees these veteran additions as a challenge rather than a roadblock.

“I think those guys are professionals,” said Gawdin. “They’ve been in the league for awhile – depends who it is, obviously. So it’s good to see where they are, their habits, how they work and then all that stuff that you can bring back and put into your game. Obviously try to get to that next level they’re already at.”

It’s natural to be skeptical about Gawdin’s incredible offensive leap last season. Maybe it was triggered by him being an overage player. Maybe it was his development kicking in and his offensive talents from prior levels catching up to his two-way play. Maybe it was because he played a lot with Tyler Steenbergen and Aleksi Heponiemi. Regardless of how it happened, his performance has earned him (at least) three years of pro hockey to prove it wasn’t a fluke.

Based on his no-nonsense, focused approach to development camp, he could be somebody to watch come the fall.

      • Kevin R

        That actually can make it easier for Tre to get maybe a 6 year deal for Hanifin at around the 5.25-5.5 range. Im sure Nurses camp sees that & no way they take a long term deal with the lack of funds Oil have. Curious what Trouba winds up getting as well. 3 interesting & similar 2nd pairing young D that will set value for this category.

          • withachance

            A lot can happen for the cap within one year. What Tre does this year is unlikely to have a major effect. Brouwer contract is coming off next summer for sure. Frolik could be traded at the deadline or draft to make room for prospects. Stone likely to be gone by next summer too. Thats likely to be around 10M in cap…

            Don’t understand the panic over Tkachuk contract when it’s a year away before the Flames can even begin discussing extensions…

          • freethe flames

            If you bridge Hanifin which based upon the current cap situation 2 or 3 years then they will have the space to sign Tkachuk longer term. The worst thing is to sign Hanifin to a one year deal; the you would have cap issues.

        • supra steve

          Doughty is 28 years old and is playing for $7 million on the final year of his current contract. He has won 2 Stanley Cups , a Norris, several 1st and 2nd all-star team selections. Dumba has none of those accomplishments.

          Doughty gets rewarded with $11 million/season starting in 2019/20. I think it’s too much, and that the Kings won’t get another sniff of the Cup, but it is the economics of the NHL.

    • MDG1600

      Tkachuk was noticably a threat everytime he was on the ice when I watched him play in the Memorial Cup. Gadwin was almost invisible in the Memorial Cup this year. Maybe the kid was hurt, I dunno. He didn’t cost us anything so I think it is a good addition to take a chance on him but I think he will have his hands full just adapting to the AHL this year.

      • oilcanboyd

        Eric Francis May 26: Mere days after the Memorial Cup dreams ended for his Swift Current Broncos, the 21-year-old Calgary Flames prospect can now speak openly about an injury that made his remarkable run as WHL playoff MVP even more impressive.

        “It was an AC joint separation,” said Gawdin of an ailment situated where the collarbone meets the highest point of the shoulder blade.

  • freethe flames

    We get a much better idea of where he is at in fall camp. Hopefully his progress continues to trend up and he can earn a top 6 forward spot in the AHL. His progress last season suggests he might have it him. He was not overly noticeable during the scrimmage. I’m always hopeful with prospects but the truth is that he is only a long shot prospect.

  • Sven

    A lot of bodies in motion –

    but with all the off season movement – one has to hope that somewhere within the kids showing up to camp we will be able to assemble a better bottom three/four than :

    Stajan (5×5 ‘game score’ of 17.2)
    Hathaway (5×5 ‘game score’ of 18.4)
    Lazar (5×5 ‘game score’ of 13.4)
    Stewart (5×5 ‘game score’ of 4.7)

  • freethe flames

    The one thing that Gawdin gives the Flames is a RHS forward with good size. This is the first time in a long time that the Flames have had a number of RHS forwards in the organization and that provides some options they have not had before.

    • Stockton's Finest

      Last year in Stockton we only had 3 true RW’s (Carroll, Poirier, Foo). Throw in Hathaway for the first quarter. 3 of them are gone and replaced with what appears to be a good mix for the Heat this year. Still think they will move Dube to the wing, with the centers they may end up with down here: Gawdin, McMurray, Lazar (?), and who am I missing? September 30th cannot come fast enough; the Heat’s lone home preseason game. May try to talk Mrs. Finest to take the roadie to Bakersfield for the only other preseason game.

      • Stockton's Finest

        You also have Graovac and Quine that will probably suit up for the Heat.

        So down the middle you would have Quine, Gawdin, Graovac, and McMurtry. Lazar is he comes down: Lomberg can fill in…Pollock also is/was listed as Center. Depth looking good so far.

    • freethe flames

      And some of the reasons for trying to get Tkachuk done this year long term are: 1. fear of offer sheets, (I would rather have him than first rounders) 2. every contract that drives up the cost that is being signed by teams impacts BT’s internal cap, and 3. If he has a break out year offensively (very likely with the added depth to the club) his cost goes up even more.

      • Kevin R

        I would absolutely love to see Tre give Matt an 7 or 8 year deal at 6.75 mill per extension now. Why not. Keep the Gio/Gaudreau cap at 6.75mill & really, who do we have that even comes close to threatening that salary ceiling? Do it Tre.

  • Thunder1

    Chucky’s gonna’ get paid…

    Keith Tkachuk, 1995
    The last thing a financially flagging franchise like the Winnipeg Jets of the mid-’90s needed was to lose their captain. But Chicago attempted to steal Tkachuk away with a gargantuan five-year, $17.2-million contract offer. The Jets stepped up and matched, but played just one more season in Winnipeg.