Development Camp Update: 08.07.14
CalgaryFlames.com recaps Day 5 of development camp
Several players have been kept off the ice during camp due to injuries but that doesn't mean their time in Calgary isn't valuable.
Jon Gillies, Mark Jankowski, Adam Ollas Mattsson, Emile Poirier, and Garnet Hathaway have been working with strength and conditioning coach Ryan van Asten throughout the week and they have been observing practices every day.
"It kind of sucks," Jankowski lamented. "You always want to get out there and skate but I’m trying to take advantage of everything I can off the ice. I’ve listened to the athletic therapist, doctors, everything. I’m just taking in everything I can.
"A lot of stretching, rehab, a lot of bikes, a lot of meetings. That’s pretty much all it’s been."
Being at camp also allows the walking wounded to meet their fellow prospects and get to know the players attending on a try-out agreement.
"Of course I want to be on the ice but I'm making the best of the situation," Ollas Mattsson told CalgaryFlames.com "I'm working out, meeting the guys. It's been a great experience. I'm learning a lot from being here."
For Poirier, attending development camp is the first step in preparing for the Flames main training camp in September.
"I know what to expect here and what to do here. It’s a fun week and it just helps me enjoy it more. It’s a good week for preparation on what to expect for training camp. It’s a good week for everyone here."
The prospects are headed out to Banff this afternoon to do some mountain climbing and while the injured players won't be able to make that trek, they'll join the crew at the top of the mountain after taking the gondola up.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER MADNESS
The prospects hit the ice for less than an hour on Tuesday but they ended their practice with mountain climbers; the drill has players skate to each line and then back to the end of the rink, hitting each every line on the ice.
BEAUVAL'S BIGGEST NAME
Eric Roy began his hockey career like thousands of Canadian kids: hustling through drills in a small town rink.
"I started when I was about five years ago, my dad got me into the game," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "There wasn't really organized hockey where I'm from, Beauval, Saskatchewan, but I moved to Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and that's where I played my minor hockey."
According to the 2011 Statistics Canada profile, Beauval's population is just 756. To have someone drafted into the NHL is a very big deal for the community and Roy is a sort of local legend in his old stomping grounds.
"Every time I go back there to visit, I'm a huge role model there. The kids look up to me.
"Unfortunately, there's no rink right now but they're trying to [fund raise] for one. I'd do anything to help. Hopefully they're get one soon."
Roy was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
GILLIES READY FOR JUNIOR SEASON AT PROVIDENCE
At the end of the 2013-14 season, there was a lot of chatter about Gillies potentially leaving Providence to turn pro but the South Portland, ME native has decided to head back to Rhode Island for his junior season.
"A lot went into that decision," he explained. "A lot of it had to do with sitting back and realizing we lose two players next year. I don’t want to say we overachieved this year because from our standpoint we knew we had the team to win the National Championship and we fell short of that. I think in a lot of people’s eyes we overachieved for the team they saw on paper.
"The biggest part of it was the chance, the opportunity to win and the balance of power in college hockey next year. We’re a team that’s losing very minimal, losing two key guys on defence and one on forward, but we have most of our core coming back. My class is 12 guys deep. We’re ready to lead the way. It’s an opportunity to win. It’s going to be a lot of fun."
Gillies put together a 19-9-5 record last season in Providence, posting a 2.16 GAA and a .931 save percentage. He also was named the USA's starting goaltender at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
He hit a bit of a rough patch mid-way through the year but that period of time, while frustrating, was a great learning experience for the young goaltender.
"Up until I left for the World Juniors, my college career had gone smoothly. I had all the puck luck and stuff like that," he explained. "I had a few games there where it was up and down and the second half was up and down. It was a good learning experience from a mental standpoint to learn how to bounce back and make sure I knew that I can battle through things like that. Everything is not going to go perfectly all the time.
"That’s how this game is and that’s what makes it great is that you have to battle through the good times and the bad. My teammates really stuck by me during that time. Hopefully they never stop believing in me and I’ve never stopped believing in them."