Development Camp: Players To Watch
Torie Peterson highlights five players to keep an eye on during development camp
PATRICK SIELOFF - DEFENCE
Calgary's second round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft didn't kick off his pro career the way he would have liked. After an impressive showing at the 2013 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC, the Flames brass concluded the defenceman was ready to move on from the OHL but his elation over the promotion was short-lived. He played just two games with the Abbotsford Heat before he was shut down for an indefinite amount of time. The issue? A staph infection that rendered him immobile for a period of time and ended his entire season. The Ann Arbor, MI native has worked extremely hard to get himself back into game shape and will be looking to make up for lost time.
Sieloff is always raring to go but he may have even more jump to his step given his tumultuous year. Keep your head up, boys.
ADAM OLLAS MATTSSON - DEFENCE
When the Flames called Adam Ollas Mattsson's name with the 175th overall pick this year, not many North American fans knew who the Swedish defender was but he was definitely on plenty of scouts radars this year. Ranked 50th amongst all skaters in the 2014 NHL Draft by International Scouting Services and 56th by Red Line Report, there were more than a few scouts caught by surprise when he went in the sixth round.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound rearguard is a shutdown defender who doesn't shy away from imposing himself physically. He will keep forwards on their toes during scrimmages throughout camp.
TIM HARRISON - RIGHT WING
Like Ollas Mattsson this year, Tim Harrison entered his first development camp as a mystery but quickly made a name for himself. The 6-foot-3, 193-pound right winger established himself as a hard-working, physical forward who won't hesitate to finish a check in drills or scrimmages. He is coming off his freshman season at Colgate, where he dressed for 34 games and registered five assists.
The affable Duxbury, MA product also caught Calgarians attention when he managed to win not one but two mini-bikes at the 2014 Stampede. Who knew that was possible?
JOHNNY GAUDREAU - LEFT WING
It seems obvious, since all eyes are going to be on shifty winger Johnny Gaudreau, but I feel like it would be remiss not to include him on this list. The Flames 2011 fourth round pick was hands down the best player in college hockey last year, rattling off 80 points in 40 games and winning the Hobey Baker. When his season came to a close in the Frozen Four semi-finals, he inked a three-year entry-level deal with the Flames and proceeded to score his first NHL goal on his first shot in his first NHL game.
Not too shabby, eh?
JON GILLIES - GOALTENDER
Friars starter Jon Gillies is gearing up for his junior year at Providence and development camp is the perfect place to ramp up his off-season training. The Flames 2012 third rounder is coming off a 19-9-5 season with a 2.16 GAA and a .931 save percentage. Decent numbers, yes, but South Portland, ME native hit a rough patch in the middle of year that pushed to get back to the basics.
"Everything went really well for him in his freshman year and this year, he hit a little adversity as we know," Friars coach Nate Leaman told CalgaryFlames.com. "Every good player is going to hit adversity from one time to another and I think the best thing for Jon is learning to battle through that.
"He's learning that when you do hit adversity, it's back to the basics. Back to working hard every day in practice and competing every day in practice."