Prospect Profile: Bryan Cameron
In his last season in the OHL with the Barrie Colts, the Brampton, ON native put together a career year that saw him post 53 goals and 78 points through 62 regular season tilts. He earned a +38 rating through that span despite squaring off against some of the league's best players.
He continued to flourish in the postseason, scoring 11 goals and 20 points in 17 games. He helped lead his team to the finals before falling to the eventual Memorial Cup winners, the Windsor Spitfires.
Signed by the Flames as a free agent on Apr. 30, 2010, it looked like the pivot was on the fast track to success at the professional level.
However, his first year in Abbotsford didn't go as smoothly as he would have liked.
Cameron struggled to make the transition from junior to the AHL. The once-prolific scorer mustered just six goals and 15 points through 60 games with the Heat. He saw himself land on the fourth line and had his minutes drastically drop as the season progressed.
Midway through the season, former head coach Jim Playfair decided Cameron needed a change of scenery and sent him to the ECHL's Victoria Salmon Kings.
"I didn't have him in the proper position to develop his greatest strength, but the way our team is structured and the way it's set up, that's the position he was put into," Playfair said at the time. "I think this will be a good experience for him, to go down there and get his offensive confidence back."
He managed to get a grip on his game on the island. He potted three goals and six points in his seven contests with Victoria and used his short stint in the ECHL to continue to develop his defensive game.
"First year, it's a learning experience," he said. "I definitely learnt a lot from it as much as I didn't get too much ice. I learnt a lot. It develops you for the next year and I feel like I can come back bigger, better and stronger and just figure out the game a little bit more."
Cameron has put the past season behind him and after seeing his fellow prospects at development camp, he has a great feeling about the Heat's upcoming campaign.
"It's nice to see the guys again, that I've played with all year and that. Guys are coming back stronger which is nice to see. The new guys are coming in and there's some big surprises. A lot of strong guys, good skill and just look really good out on the ice too so it's nice to see everyone come together."
The 22 year-old will be spending the bulk of the summer training in order to make sure his second season in Abbotsford doesn't take the same twists as his first did.
"I'll probably go back to Brampton for bit. Train there with my trainers. I've got a couple good trainers there. Just do that and come back and try to make it work."
In addition to the physical preparation, Cameron will also be using the off-season to continue to work on his mentality on the ice.
"I've just got to be more reliable in my own zone. I'm an offensive guy and I've got to be able to play in both ends of the rink. I figured that out about half way through the year," he grinned. "I've got to keep that in mind and know that one end is just as important as the other end."
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