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Flames 2009 Draft Rewind

Monday, 06.21.2010 / 1:36 PM MT / News
By Kristi Hennessy
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Flames 2009 Draft Rewind
The Calgary Flames selected Swedish player Tim Erixon from the Swedish Elite League 23rd overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Erixon played for Team Sweden in the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships earning himself a silver and a bronze medal. The speedy Swed will be assessed at the Flames development camp in Calgary this July to see how he has progressed in the Swedish League.

Following Erixon the Flames had the 74th selection in the third round and chose Ryan Howse from the Chilliwack Bruins of the Western Hockey League. 18-year old Howse recorded 72 points in 72 games in the 2009-10 season.

The final part of our five part series looking at the Flames at the NHL Draft from 2005 to 2009, takes a look at what the class of 2009 has been up to since their draft day.

Drafted in 2009, 23th overall

Video: Development Camp '09
Video: Erixon reacts to draft selection
Video: 2009 Draft interview

Tim Erixon was selected by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Although Tim Erixon was actually born in Port Chester, New York, he began playing hockey in Sweden at the age of five. His father Jan moved his family back to Sweden after he retired from the New York Rangers.

His professional hockey career began with Skelleftea AIK  of the Swedish Elite League (SEL) at the age of 17.  In his first full season with Skelleftea, Erixon recorded seven points in 45 games by the end of the 2008-09 season.

The 6’2”, 190-pound defender represented Sweden at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships and the 2009 World Junior Championships where he brought home a silver medal.  He made a third Team Sweden appearance at the 2010 World Junior Championships held in Saskatchewan, Canada. He posted a goal and two assists in five games and took home a bronze medal.

Erixon was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the first round (23rd overall) and was ranked as the 5th ranked European skater according to NHL Central Scouting. The Flames consider him a well-rounded player; not expected to be an offensive minded defenseman, but a player with a good vision on the ice.

Erixon attended the 2009 development camp last summer but knew all along that he would return to his team in Sweden for at least one more season. Last season, he recorded 13 assists in 45 games with Skellefea (SEL) and added one goal in 12 playoff games.

He will return to Calgary for the 2010 development camp in July and hopes to impress the Flames management and sign a professional contract. It is likely that he will play for the Flames AHL farm team in Abbotsford, B.C.

Drafted in 2009, 74th overall

Video: Development Camp '09

Ryan Howse
 Howse is coming off of his third full season with the Chilliwack Bruins of the Western Hockey League.

In his first full season (2007-08) he recorded 17 points in 54 games and added two points in four playoff games.

The following season Howse began to find his niche and posted 31 goals and 44 points in 61 games for the Bruins.

His strong season led to being selected in the third round (74th overall) by the Calgary Flames.

Howse returned to the Bruins last season and made a significant impact with his club. In 72 games played, the Prince George, B.C native recorded a point a game totalling 47 goals and 25 assists for 72 points.

The 5’11”, 195-pound left-winger will turn 19 this July 6th so he is still eligible to play up to two seasons in the WHL. He will attend the Flames development camp this July to be assessed by the management team. More than likely Howse will be assigned back to the Chilliwack Bruins for further development.

Drafted in 2009, 141st overall

Video: Prospect Profile

Spencer Bennett
 Bennett was born and grew up in sunny White Rock, BC, right along the Canada/USA border.

Bennett was drafted in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

He is a 6’3”, 185-pound left winger who will turn 20 this coming Halloween night (October 31, 1990) and began his hockey career with the Burnaby Express  of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). He had six goals and 17 points in 58 games.

He joined his hometown Surrey Eagles (BCHL) team for the 2008-09 season and improved drastically to a 41 point season (20G, 21A) in 60 games played.

The White Rock kid attended the Flames development camp last summer not long after being drafted. Bennett then joined the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League after receiving a scholarship offer from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“Spencer is a key addition to our young forward group and bring a veteran presence to the locker room,” said Winterhawks General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston. “In discussions with the Calgary Flames they are looking forward to following Spencer’s progress and development in the WHL.”

In the 2009-10 season, Bennett recorded 19 goals and 40 points with the Winterhawks and added three points in 13 playoff games.

Drafted in 2009, 171st overall

Feature: Prospect Profile

Joni Ortio
Joni Ortio is a promising young Flames netminder prospect from Turku, Finland, the same birth-place as his idol and Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

Ortio began his hockey career playing with TuTo U18 (Jr. B I divisioona) in Finland playing in 10 games. He also dressed for Team Finland for two games at the 2008 World Junior under 17 Championships.

In the 2008-09 season, Ortio played in 26 games for the TPS U20 team in the SM-Liiga Leauge (Finnish Elite League). He was able to suit up for Finland for the Under 18 World Championships and played in five games.

Ortio was later drafted in the sixth round (171st overall) by the Calgary Flames. He flew to Calgary after the draft to attend the Flames development camp but was later returned to the Finnish Elite League.

“It was simply an amazing experience,” Ortio commented on his first development camp in Calgary. “Everyone there was extremely nice and it was easy to fit into the group and get to know all the guys. I didn’t get to see the city that much but the little I saw the city seemed very nice and the people were very friendly. I can’t wait to get there again.”

The 6’1”, 181-pound netminder returned to his TPS U20 Jr.A  team in Finland for 26 games and posted a 2.63 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage. He earned himself the starter position for Team Finland at the 2010 World Junior Championships where he started in six games posting a 3.02 goals-against and a .845 save percentage.

Like many Finnish goalies, Ortio is strong on breakaways/penalty shots and still developing his game with regards to positioning and rebound control.

Author: Kristi Hennessy