20Jakob Pelletier
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

Jakob Pelletier wants to make it hard to cut him in September

Since Brad Treliving became Calgary Flames general manager in 2014, the club has done a great job at finding good players in the first round. Not only that, they’ve managed to find players that force their way onto the National Hockey League radar very quickly.

(18-year-old) Sam Bennett would’ve made the team in 2014 if not for the discovery of a shoulder injury that required surgery – and he still forced his way onto the playoff roster. Matthew Tkachuk barrelled his way onto the opening night roster in 2016. Juuso Valimaki was a late cut in 2017, but managed to beat out Brett Kulak for a roster spot in 2018.

Jakob Pelletier might have been drafted later than his three predecessors – 26th overall – and he may be a tad bit smaller physically than Bennett, Tkachuk or Valimaki. But what he lacks in draft pedigree and size, Pelletier makes up for in determination.

“I think my mindset, my main goal is try to make the team,” said Pelletier of his approach for the remainder of the summer and preparation for his first big league camp. “But if we’re realistic, I’m not going to make it. But it’s just a progress to become a more better player, a more complete player. To be more powerful in my skating, more stronger.”

Originally from Quebec City, Pelletier has plied his trade in several places where hockey is a big deal; in addition to his minor hockey in Quebec City, he’s played two full seasons for the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL. His trip to Flames development camp was his third such trek to the Stampede City, but so far his trips have all been more business than pleasure – the others were for a pair of successful try outs for Hockey Canada’s Under-17 and Under-18 national teams. (Speaking midway through camp, he jokingly remarked that his favourite part of Calgary is the rink.)

Pelletier was one of the smallest players on the ice at development camp, but due to his status as the lone first round selection in camp he drew a lot of media and fan attention. He beamed about his excitement to be drafted by a Canadian team and conveyed his determination to make a strong impression when he returns to Calgary for training camp.

“I want to make it hard to cut me or to be like the last one to be cut,” said Pelletier. “I don’t want to leave the camp early. I want to make it hard for them and show them what I can do.”

  • freethe flames

    Pelletier is likely going to be an NHLer but it’s going to take a few years. He was not even the most noticeable player in yesterdays scrimmage despite playing with Phillips most of the time. Of the prospects from yesterday I would Have Pettersen ahead of him and I would say that Pospisil and Koumontzis out played him. But it’s one scrimmage and one small sample to take in. Other than Pospisil all will likely be playing either in the cHL next year or back in the NCAA; which is a good place for each of them to develop. Some have suggested that he might get his 9 game audition but if nothing changes with the Flames current roster then I don’t see him beating out either Dube or Mangiapane and they are likely in the starting line up. Cheering for the kid and all the other prospects but also trying to be realistic about his chances next year.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I keep hearing that Pelletier was coming off an ankle injury which he pushed through in the playoffs. I know high ankle sprains take a while to heal so I hope he is smart enough to take some time off the ice.

      • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

        Pelletier also fractured his wrist to start the year as well and wasn’t 100% at the Hlinka or for the first month or so of the season. He played through both injures like a champ and still ended up with an almost exceptional pre-draft NHLe of 30+, but most felt his point totals would have been even better if that hadn’t happened. This kid is as much of a lock as anyone we could have picked at 26th this year. I was hoping for us to take Bobby Brink, but he was my next favourite choice and it’s apples to apples really.

        Pelletier is actually a better skater to be honest, so he likely has a higher floor for me even and almost the exact same ceiling as well and to be honest the one thing I like about Pelletier is his finish is elite. When we drafted him I think a lot of naysayers said “Oh great another small player”, but he is exactly what we need, someone else who can shoot the puck. Outside of Bing, Gio and Monahan we really don’t have a lot of pure finishers on this team. So he could be a really important piece for us down the road to add more finish into the lineup.

        I’m just so happy Florida saved us from ourselves and drafted Spencer Knight, that kid is going to be a major stiff!!! If he’s so good why didn’t the best USNTDP team of all time not win a single major tournament? He was out goaltended whenever it mattered most all year by lesser goaltenders. I just frankly don’t see it at all. He reminds me a lot of Zach Fucale his draft year, where because he played on a great team everyone kind of went crazy about his projections at the next level. If I’m picking a bust or two from that US Team it’s him and Zegras (Boldy is twice the player Zegras is, love that Anaheim fumbled that one).

  • Flameon13

    I know this doesn’t really have much to do with the article, but here is a couple thoughts on why we haven’t seen a trade from the flames yet this offseason:
    1. I think the reason we haven’t seen a Brodie trade yet is because BT may be iffy on moving brodie without some top 6 player coming back and is probably willing to leave him with the team unless he gets it. Another thing is he may be looking for too much for Brodie (a defenseman on the last year of his deal). If this is through he should realize Brodie is no longer needed and be willing to move him somewhere for just picks or some kind of prospect.
    2. I think the reason Frolik hasn’t been moved yet because other teams believe A) they already have a Frolik like player, B) Still believe a Frolik type player is still available among the remaining UFAs C) Are waiting until they get their RFAs signed and will look at Frolik later the summer if they have cap space left after their signings
    C) The only reason I can think of for Stone not being moved yet(or atleast bought out) is because he is looking to move Brodie for assets and still needs someone to fit into the Right Dman side once Brodie is moved. In which I think he should just buy out Stone and sign a UFA like Chris Weidman for example for 900k and make him our 6/7th dman saving us approx. 1.3mill in cap space.

    • Calgary ‘could’ keep back $1M. on each of Brodie, Frolik, and Stone and free up about $9.5M.,…and those deals would be scooped up in a heart beat. Not doing anything now means there is no money to play with and therefore Tkachuk cant / wont be over paid. Chucky at or under $8.M would be some epic contract negotiation. Deal players away after Tkachuk is signed is a thought.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      How many other clubs have their own found money–inexpensive players doing expensive things–such as Andersson, Mangipane and Kylington? It is guys like these who really reduce the value of Frolik and Brodie. I’ll take Andersson or Kylingtom over Brodie any day of the week and that I can save $3M+ a year is a bonus. If other clubs are similarly blessed with found money, moving Frolik or Brodie could prove a bear unless Tre wants to sweeten the pot with a high draft pick, a move he shouldn’t consider unless the is sure the pick will be late, late in the round.

    • buts

      Frolik hasn’t moved because no one is going to pay 4.3 million for a bottom 6 winger. Brodie is a mystery after Kadri stiffed us and Stone is not wanted due to his health. A good GM maximizes assets before they fall in value, hence the BT criticism.

  • The Red Knight

    Can’t wait to see how he progresses through camp/preseason, some players fade away where usaully the ones most determined keep getting better we will see if this kids got the stuff ,his size doesn’t matter if he’s got some Fluery in him he will be a star , I like the Brendan galleger comparison.

  • Oscar the Grouch

    Jakob shook hands with that lawyer. Why does that stinky lawyer shake hands with all the players. Now Jakob has a smelly shoe smell on his hands.

    Stop touching our players mr bettman. We dont want Jakob turning into a grouch. Theres only room for one grouch and thats me.