Now that the 2023 NHL Draft is behind us, most teams, including the Calgary Flames, will be holding their prospect development camp this week. The Flames announced their plans for development camp on the weekend which kicks off on Thursday at the 7 Chiefs Sportsplex.
There will be lots of on ice sessions and a scrimmage on the final day, but the Flames are putting extra emphasis on the off ice sessions this year. Development camp is usually an opportunity for the team to assess their younger prospects and set-up plans for their on and off-ice activities for the next year.
The team will do two days of off-ice work on Thursday and Friday before moving to skills then a 3-on-3 scrimmage on Saturday morning.
The Flames will host 38 players at development camp, some you’ll recognize and some you wont.
|Jari Kykkanen||Invitee||18||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||33||3.85||0.895||1||14-12-3|
|Connor Murphy||Invitee||24||Union College||NCAA||31||3.34||0.889||2||12-17-1|
|Matt Radomsky||Invitee||24||University of Alaska-Fairbanks||NCAA||34||2.05||0.916||2||22-10-2|
|Arseni Sergeev||2021 Draftee||20||University of Connecticut||NCAA||19||2.61||0.912||0||11-6-1|
|Max Vayrynen||Invitee||21||Michigan Tech||NCAA||4||2.32||0.903||0||1-0-1|
- Kykkanen spent the season with the Kelowna Rockets, who are mired in a rebuild. This was his first full WHL season, and played three playoff games for the Rockets, putting up a very good 0.924 save percentage.
- Murphy spent the year as the captain of Union College, playing pretty well all of their games. The team was decent at home, but won just two games on the road this year.
- Radomsky joined Alaska out of the transfer portal this year, and put up phenomenal numbers for the team. He’s the most interesting goalie on this list despite being 24 years old.
- Sergeev is coming off of his first season at UConn where he managed to steal the net from other netminders. He is expected to be back as the started for the Huskies this season.
- The Finn, Vayrynen, came over to North America to play at Michigan Tech this year. He didn’t play much, but his underlying numbers from Finland are really good.
- 2023 sixth-round pick Yegor Yegorov will not be at camp this year.
|Jake Boltmann||2020 Draftee||21||University of Notre Dame||NCAA||37||1||4||5|
|Callum Chisholm||Invitee||19||Barrie Colts||OHL||52||10||13||23|
|Charles Cote||Invitee||19||Rimouski Oceanic||QMJHL||62||4||17||31|
|Mikael Diotte||Invitee||20||Drummondville Voltegeurs||QMJHL||62||8||19||27|
|Tyson Galloway||Invitee||20||Calgary Hitmen||WHL||64||3||26||29|
|Jarrod Gourley||Invitee||24||Utica Comets|
|Yan Kuznetsov||2020 Draftee||20||Saint John Sea Dogs||QMJHL||25||2||11||13|
|Quinn Mantei||Invitee||18||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||67||2||23||25|
|Donovan McCoy||Invitee||18||Peterborough Petes||OHL||65||2||11||13|
|Etienne Morin||2023 Draftee||18||Moncton Wildcats||QMJHL||67||21||51||72|
|Jeremie Poirier*||2020 Draftee||20||Saint John Sea Dogs||QMJHL||67||16||41||57|
|John Prokop||Invitee||22||Union College||NCAA||35||4||19||23|
- One of the most baffling Flames’ picks in some time, Jake Boltmann took a step back this season offensively, putting up just five points this year. Don’t expect much from him.
- Chisholm, Diotte, Cole, McCoy, and Galloway are similar archetype defencemen. All are big and rangy, but all had very mediocre numbers this season. Galloway was a former St. Louis Blues draft pick that wasn’t signed.
- Gourley is mostly an ECHL guy who had fine stats this season. May be a useful AHL body like Koletrane Wilson was a couple seasons back.
- Kuznetsov was a steady defenceman for the Wranglers this season, but does need to work on both his positioning and offensive game going into his second season.
- A bit of a younger guy, Mantei was undrafted this year out of the WHL. Not great numbers but a much higher ceiling than the other invitees.
- Poirier was an elite defenceman for the Wranglers this season. He will be there for only the off-ice sessions.
- Union College defender John Prokop stands out here as a 22-year-old rookie out of the NCAA. He played five seasons in the USHL before jumping over this season. His numbers are impressive, but he is also a bit older.
- The one notable exception is Swedish blueliner Alex Hurtig, who was drafted in the seventh round this year.
|Parker Bell||2022 Draftee||LW||19||Tri-City Americans|
|Lucas Ciona||2021 Draftee||LW||20||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL||63||28||47||75|
|Matthew Coronato||2021 Draftee||RW||20||Harvard University||NCAA||34||20||16||36|
|Nick DeGrazia||Invitee||C/LW||20||Sudbury Wolves||OHL||53||25||25||50|
|Mark Duarte||Invitee||RW/C||20||Soo Greyhounds||OHL||65||20||28||48|
|Tyson Gross||Invitee||F||20||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||USHL||54||7||32||39|
|Patrick Guzzo||Invitee||C/LW||21||Ohio State University||NCAA||40||9||8||17|
|Chad Hillebrand||Invitee||F||23||Western Michigan University||NCAA||32||7||9||16|
|Samuel Honzek||2021 Draftee||C/LW||18||Vancouver Giants||WHL||43||23||33||56|
|Cole Huckins||Invitee*||C/W||20||Sherbrooke Phoenix||QMJHL||64||28||20||48|
|Rory Kerins||2020 Draftee||C||21||Rapid City Rush|
|Adam Klapka||2022 Signee||RW||22||Calgary Wranglers||AHL||60||13||12||25|
|Adam Kydd||Invitee||LW||21||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||50||20||33||53|
|Jaden Lipinski||2023 Draftee||LW||18||Vancouver Giants||WHL||66||19||32||51|
|Cade Littler||2022 Draftee||C||18||Wenatchee Wild||BCHL||51||29||39||68|
|Ilya Nikolaev||2019 Draftee||C||22||Rapid City Rush||ECHL||40||13||20||33|
|Oliver Peer||Invitee||RW||20||Windsor Spitfire||OHL||63||22||45||67|
|Nathan Pilling||Invitee||F||19||Edmonton Oil Kings/ Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||35||10||3||13|
|Topi Ronni||2022 Draftee||C||19||Tappara|
|William Stromgren||2021 Draftee||LW||20||Brynas IF||SHL||45||3||5||8|
|Oliver Tulk||Invitee||F||18||Calgary hitmen||WHL||68||24||36||60|
- Bell and Ciona put up very similar numbers this past season, with Ciona earning an ELC and Bell, being a year younger is likely back to the WHL this year.
- Coronato is going to play NHL games this season most likely, and is probably the highest ceiling player at this camp.
- DeGrazia and Duarte are both 20-year-olds who did not hit the point-per-game mark in the OHL, but could be handy depth options for the Wranglers this season.
- Guzzo and Hillebrand both are marginal NCAA guys who are older as well. Likely not much there.
- This year’s first-round pick, Honzek is going to be the player to watch at camp this week.
- Kerins and Nikolayev are both guys who should have played in the AHL, but were instead relegated to the ECHL for much of the year. Expect both to push to earn an AHL job this year and show they’re more than depth AHLers at best.
- Cade Littler had a really good season in the BCHL this year. Expect him to come in hungry as he joins the NCAA’s University of North Dakota next year.
- Adam Klapka was fine in the AHL this year, but really didn’t do much as a rookie. Expect him to try and show he has more in the tank.
- The Calgary kid, Gross is a big body who is set to join St. Cloud State this coming season. Not great USHL numbers last year.
- Adam Kydd and Oliver Peer intregue me. Both are 20-year-olds who put up good numbers in their respective CHL leagues. There is definitely offensive upside there and a good camp could earn either a contract with the Wranglers.
- The most interesting invitee this year is Oliver Tulk. The Hitmen product put up the second-most points on his team this year as they look to rebuild. Standing just 5’8″, he could be a bit of a longer term project, but the Flames have always been good at finding smaller prospects that turned out well. Tulk may be one of those.
- Finally there is Cole Huckins, who was invited despite not being qualified by the team this summer. He was fine this year in a depth role for Sherbrooke, but not convinced there’s a whole lot there. If there was one player that was not qualified to bring to development camp this year it would be Jack Beck.
- 2023 third-round pick Aydar Suniev will not be at camp due to immigration holdups.
Development camp sets the tone
As always, development camp is one of the first events after the NHL Draft that truly transitions a season from the old to the new. The set of prospects will want to impress as much as they possibly can in hopes of earning a boost to their depth rankings. We’ll soon see which players are standouts and which ones will need more time to work on their game. Soon after that, they’ll play in the recurring Penticton Young Stars series where competitive play against other teams will give fans a real taste of what these prospects have to offer.