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The European season is getting going

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Folks, we’ve got to wait for a few weeks for training camps to open for hockey here in North America. Junior hockey begins their camps in mid-August, followed by college and then pro camps. But over in Europe, three Calgary Flames prospects have begun camps (with a fourth to follow soon after).

Ilya Nikolayev

Calgary’s third round pick back in 2019, Nikolayev bounced around between Russia’s minor-pro VHL and their junior MHL last season. He was merely fine offensively in 2020-21, but seemed to get lost in the shuffle at both levels as the season went on.
Well, now he’s playing in the Belarus Extraliga for Metallurg Zhlobin. It’s undeniably a lower level of hockey, and to remain a prospect that’s worth anyone’s attention he’ll need to light it up. To be truly blunt: Belarus isn’t a country where you go to play if you have NHL aspirations. Heck, very few former NHLers ever go to play there unless they’re from that country originally.
The Belarus Cup tournament began on July 30 and runs through Aug. 15. The Extraliga season begins in September.

William Stromgren

Calgary’s second round pick last month at the 2021 NHL Draft, Stromgren will be vying for a full-time gig for the Swedish Hockey League’s Rogle BK squad. Camp opened on Aug. 2, exhibition games begin Aug. 10 and Champions League games begin on Aug. 26. The SHL regular season schedule begins for Rogle on Sept. 11.

Emil Heineman

Acquired from the Florida Panthers in the Sam Bennett trade, Heineman is returning to the SHL’s Brynas IF for 2021-22. Camp began on Aug. 2, exhibition games begin on Aug. 11, and the pre-season Skoda Trophy tournament on Aug. 25. The regular season schedule begins on Sept. 11.

Lucas Feuk

Calgary’s fourth round pick in 2019, Feuk bounced around a bit last season due to the pandemic shutting down Swedish junior hockey. He’s signed with Vasterviks IK in the secondary HockeyAllsvenskan this season. Training camp for Vasterviks opens on Monday (Aug. 9), exhibition games begin Aug. 20, and the regular season kicks off on Sept. 24.

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