OVERALL IMPRESSIONS OF THE FLAMES PROSPECTS CAMP
I was quite pleased when I went to this camp. It was really interesting to see the progress of the players. I love the talent; I had no idea of the ability of the prospects. The Flames will have a solid future for many years to come. Especially in the net, where they have plenty of depth.
What made it more fun is watching these families, watching their son or brother playing in the camp. The families must go through a emotional rollercoaster with the players. The prospects have very good family support. I had the privilege of meeting quite a few families of the players. They were there in droves, supporting their players. It was really nice to see.
What is also interesting is the drills they make the players go through. At the camp for the five days I was there, I sat and watched the different drills. I wished I knew why they pick the drills they do. More to the point, I wondered if I came to the same conclusions the coaches did?
The only day I missed the camp was Saturday; I had a family birthday celebration. So it came down to wife or the Flames (oh tough choice . . .) But I digress -- on with the blog. So I decided I would play coach and tell you who I thought was the most impressive.
This was a hard decision, because there are so many I could have chosen. Why did I chose Cole? I really like his skating and his defensive skills. More important than his skating skills, I love his leadership skills. He also has great strength. He does not get taken off his feet very easily. He has a good shot and to me is a great looking prospect.
Well DUUUUUUUUH! Okay, this one I am not going to sugar coat. Mikael is in a league all by himself. He has been fantastic. All camp his puck skills have been out of this world. His passing skills are out of the universe. I think Backlund should challenge for a spot on the roster this fall. The only fault I can find is that he does not shoot enough, and he shoots to fine, always trying to hit the corners. To me, he is the best prospect the Flames have, bar none.
Matt is a terrific goalie. He consistently does everything well. I love his manner, he never seems to get too high or too low. I am surprised that they did not look more seriously at giving Matt a shot. What make this more impressive it is that the goalies are the deepest crop among the prospects in the Flames.
Nick has been outstanding all week. I knew nothing about him before he came in to the camp. What do I know about him now? I know he has a terrific shot, a very fast skater, and he is surprisingly strong on his feet. He is amazing spark plug who can lift a team's spirits just by his hustle and enthusiasm.
Kyle has a terrificly fast release on his wrist shot. It's not the hardness of the shot, as much as the accuracy. I really think the Flames got a steal from Philly in this off season trade.
I was told at an early age that you can not have success without trying. To me, these young prospects are successful, because they are already making the major step towards coming men. Judging by the way their families are, I can tell you that these are fine young men the Flames have drafted.
Everyone judges how they play, but that is not all there is to becoming a Flame. I learned more this camp than I have learned at any of the others. The most important lesson I learned at camp - or should I say was reminded of - is how to be an outstanding human being. The prospects and this organization are first class from head to toe.