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Who’s coming to training camp?

It’s September! That means two things: mornings are getting chillier and hockey is just around the corner. The Calgary Flames begin rookie camp next week, so here’s a quick primer on which players you can expect to see – and roughly when – when rookie camp and main camp open later this month.

Definitely not coming to camp

Drafted, unsigned college prospects:

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  • Goalie: Arsenii Sergeev (Tri City, USHL)
  • Defensemen: Jake Boltmann (Notre Dame)
  • Forwards: Matthew Coronato (Harvard), Demetrios Koumontzis (Arizona State), Mitchell Mattson (Michigan State) and Josh Nodler (Michigan State)

College prospects can’t come to camp (a) due to NCAA eligibility rules and (b) because school is already underway. QMJHL camps have seen several NCAA-committed prospects leave after just a few days to maintain their college eligibility, so it seems unlikely that the UConn-committed Sergeev comes to camp.

Drafted, unsigned European prospects:

  • Forwards: Lucas Feuk (Vasterviks IK, Allsvenskan), Emil Heineman (Leksands IF, SHL) and William Stromgren (Rogle BK, SHL)

Their seasons are already underway in Europe.

Probably not coming to camp

Ilya Nikolayev (Tri-City, USHL) falls into a grey area, as he’s not prevented from attending Flames camp by any specific rules, but probably won’t be at camp because his season in the USHL will be getting underway and it makes more sense for him to be with his new team and adjusting to North American hockey.

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Maybe coming to camp

Daniil Chechelev will be playing pro somewhere, so it seems possible that the Flames bring him to camp to get his feet wet and get familiar with the organization’s personnel.

Coming to camp

Drafted, unsigned major junior players:

  • Defensemen: Cole Jordan (Moose Jaw, WHL), Jeremie Poirier (Saint John, QMJHL) and Cameron Whynot (Halifax, QMJHL)
  • Forwards: Jack Beck (Ottawa, OHL), Lucas Ciona (Seattle, WHL), Ryan Francis (Saint John, QMJHL), Cole Huckins (Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) and Rory Kerins (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)

These guys report on Sept. 15. They’ll all likely stay until the first couple pre-season games, then head back to junior to rejoin their clubs.

Signed players on their entry-level deals:

  • Goalie: Dustin Wolf
  • Defensemen: Johannes Kinnvall, Yan Kuznetsov and Ilya Solovyov
  • Forwards: Emilio Pettersen, Connor Zary, Jakob Pelletier, Walker Duehr, Eetu Tuulola, Adam Ruzicka, Martin Pospisil and Dmitry Zavgorodniy

These guys also report on Sept. 15.

Signed players no longer on entry-level deals, but who weren’t on NHL roster for 34+ games last season:

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  • G: Adam Werner, Tyler Parsons and Daniel Vladar
  • D: Kevin Gravel, Colton Poolman, Nick DeSimone, Oliver Kylington, Andy Welinski, Connor Mackey
  • F: Justin Kirkland, Matthew Phillips, Luke Philp, Brett Ritchie, Glenn Gawdin and Byron Froese (not Ritchie)

These guys are technically eligible to report on Sept. 15 (as part of the rookies) as they’re not considered CBA “veterans” yet, but the Flames tend to bring players no longer on their ELCs to camp with the “veterans”, so they’ll probably report on Sept. 22 with that bunch.

Signed players who were on NHL roster for 34+ games last season:

  • G: Jacob Markstrom
  • D: Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov and Juuso Valimaki
  • F: Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Milan Lucic, Blake Coleman, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Dillon Dube, Tyler Pitlick and Trevor Lewis

These guys report Sept. 22. They are all NHL regulars.

Projecting camp invites

We didn’t have a “full” training camp in 2020, so we’re left guessing somewhat regarding how the Flames will set up training camp rosters. It’s usually a product of what the general manager and head coach want to see.

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In 2019, the rookie camp featured three goalies, eight defensemen and 14 forwards. The players likely coming to rookie camp include two goalies, six defensemen and 13 forwards, so you probably get one or two of each type of player in terms of junior players given try-outs at camp.

In 2019, main training camp began with seven goalies, 16 defensemen and 32 forwards – in addition to the rookie camp players, they also brought in most of the players signed to Stockton on AHL deals. The list of players who will probably be at regular camp, ignoring AHL signees, includes six goalies, 17 defensemen and 30 forwards. So, again, you probably get a small handful of pro try-outs and a few AHL signees, but probably not a lot of either category.

The Flames have a lot of players under contract who can come to camp – including a lot of guys that Darryl Sutter hasn’t really seen much of – so if the Flames opt for anything, it might be to keep the numbers down (or get the numbers down quickly) so that Sutter can build familiarity with the organization’s key players, newcomers, and prospects.