CALGARY, AB -- Coda Gordon is nearly 20 months removed from becoming property of the Calgary Flames, but it feels like only yesterday for the 19-year-old.
The Swift Current Broncos standout still recalls the feeling when the Flames selected him in the sixth round, 165th overall of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft
“It’s kind of always still there anytime I think about it,” Gordon told CaglaryFlames.com. “It’s just a little different now, now that I’ve been to the camps and stuff. I’m trying to do stuff to push forward to try to make the next step now.
“It doesn’t really matter where you get drafted. If you do, it’s awesome obviously. There’s just so much work you have to put in afterwards if you want to continue and go on.”
The next step for the 6-foot-2, 190-pound winger would be to land a pro contract.
Gordon is one of three Flames prospects remaining from 2012 that need to be signed to an entry-level contract before June 1st or risk re-entering the draft in 2014 -- making the next two-and-a-half months of hockey critical for the Cochrane, AB product.
And he knows it.
“It’s definitely the thing I’m pushing for the most,” said Gordon, who touches base with the Flames every other week. “I just know that as long as I play well and help my team going into playoffs and hopefully make a decent run (it helps). I think just playing my game (will help). I’m continuing to be consistent, that’s my biggest thing that can help push me and hopefully sign one of those.”
He’s taken the proper steps to help his cause.
Gordon has bounced back from a trying season last year that saw him find the back of the net just 17 times after scoring 30 in his rookie campaign in Swift Current. He’s back to his 30-goal pace and should eclipse his career-high of 59 points established in 2012-13.
It’s a result of the hard work he’s put in since being drafted by the Flames.
And it was in Calgary that helped open Gordon’s eyes as to what it will take to turn pro after this season.
“Coming down to the camp and summer training and training with (strength and conditioning coach) Rich (Hesketh) and everything and playing with those guys at main camp and being around NHLers, you see how far you still have to go to take that next step and how hard you have to work at it (to get there),” said Gordon. “Even before, you think you know it, then once you see it happen and actually do it, you realize what’s expected and what you need to know.
“It definitely opens up and shows you what you need to do to improve and what things you need to work on. I think definitely knowing that and knowing where your focus should be moving forward is definitely helpful."
His primary focus has been improving his speed.
And though Gordon’s scouting report reads he has no problem finding the right place at the right time, the former Edge School Mountaineers star is hoping to get there a little faster.
It’s his biggest obstacle, after all.
“My speed is my biggest thing,” he said. “I kind of worked on it last summer with Rich. It’s coming, but it still needs a lot of work. I’m working on my stance, trying to stay low and bend my knees and quick feet exercises to get my feet going. I think my explosiveness is a big thing I’ve been focusing on, too.”
And if he’s able to continue to improve his skating, Gordon will take a stride towards starting a pro career with Calgary.
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