Prospect Profile: Roman Horak
He'll be spending the duration of the camp working on his skating, skill development and off-ice training techniques and while it's a rigorous schedule, he couldn't be happier to be taking part in the camp.
"It's good to be part of this organization," he said on Sunday. "Great fans, it's a team in Canada so I think it's going to be good."
It won't be completely unfamiliar territory for Horak, however. For the past two seasons, he's been playing alongside Flames prospect Ryan Howse for the Chilliwack Bruins, who is also attending the development camp.
The two ended the 2010-11 campaign first and second in scoring (83 and 78 points), with Howse edging by Horak by five points.
Howse has said he owes his career-high season to Horak and his on-ice vision, stating he wouldn't have scored nearly as many goals without his linemate's ability to feed him the puck.
Horak also views himself as a set-up man and rightly so. The Czech forward, who can play either up the middle or on the wing, had 52 helpers to his name through 64 regular season games last season for the Bruins.
That being said, he has an excellent release on his shot which helped him post 26 goals last year. At 6'1 and 170 lbs, he isn't overly physical but is not afraid to play along the boards or in the dirty areas. This has also helped him produce offensively.
Horak is also very responsible in his own end. He skates hard on the back check, battles the opposition for time and space and uses the boards well to help alleviate pressure in his own end.
While Horak's main focus this week is working on his skill set, he appreciates the chance to get to know his fellow prospects and potential teammates.
"It's something different. You know them because you play against them but you don't actually know their personalities and stuff so it's fun to meet them."
Flames general manager Jay Feaster had high praise for Horak after acquiring him in the trade for Tim Erixon's signing rights, stating he had more upside than some give him credit for.
"We like his work ethic, we like his compete. We think he will play in the National Hockey League,
Feaster said. "We get a player who already has chemistry with one of our other draft picks. He is signed . . . there is no European-return clause in that contract, so he’ll come in here and try to earn a spot in camp. If he doesn’t, he’ll be with our top AHL affiliate."
Feaster addressed the prospects on Sunday night, telling them they will all get the opportunity to make the club. Knowing the organization has essentially given them a blank slate coming into development camp has Horak brimming with anticipation.
"It's exciting. It's something you don't hear every day. Especially what the general manager said, it was really great. Like everyone has a chance. I'm really excited about it."
Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson