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Penticton Preview: Calgary Flames

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Calgary Flames are once again bringing a well rounded team that will have some soon to be NHL players as well as some that will need a bit more seasoning. Last year, the Flames gave us a firsthand look at a player that many fans of the Canucks believed we ‘should have drafted’ in Matthew Tkachuk. Good news is that we won’t have see Tkachuk, the bad news is that he’s not playing this year because he had a strong rookie campaign for the Flames last year.

Top Prospects

Mark Jankowski: Way back in 2012 John Weisbrod convinced Jay Feaster to move out of the 14th spot in the draft to select a rail-thin center from a relatively unheralded league with the 21st pick. After 4 seasons at Providence, Jankowski turned pro and has continued to evolve into the player that the Flames had hoped he would back in 2012. Jankowski had 50 points with Stockton last season, and will look to crack the Flames lineup this year after being named Rookie of the Year and team MVP.

Spencer Foo: One of the most heralded College Free Agents on the market this off-season, Foo chose the Calgary Flames as his destination. The Hobey Baker finalist had 26 goals and 36 assists while leading Union College to the #11 rank in the season ending NCAA top 25. Foo is a hard working player who skates well and has solid puck possession working to his advantage. The projection for his development is relatively short as he is likely fighting for one of the open spots on the Flames as soon as this year.

Rasmus Andersson: A composed, fluid Swedish defenseman, Andersson has developed into a player who is knocking on the NHL’s door. He may not be as flashy as Stockton team mate and fellow countryman Oliver Kylington, but his 22 points as an AHL rookie were only 1 point behind Kylington for the team lead. The room for growth on Andersson will be his fitness and conditioning. If he addressed this over the summer, he could make Brad Treliving’s roster decisions difficult on cut-down day.

Juuso Valimaki: The Flames 2017 first round pick is an all-around defenceman much like fellow Finn and Canucks 2016 first round pick Olli Juolevi. Valimaki has all of the tools to be in the Flames top 4 in a few years. The alternate Captain of the Tri-City Americans had 61 points in 60 games (19g-42a) last season.

Tyler Parsons: One of the top goaltending prospects will be in net for the Calgary Flames in Penticton. Parsons has accomplished a lot as a Junior aged player with a Memorial Cup championship and World Junior gold medal under his belt. A former 54th overall selection, Parsons uses his athleticism and sound positioning to keep opposing offenses at bay.

Late Round Steal

Matthew Phillips: Another undersized forward, Phillips has been a scoring machine for the Victoria Royals. As a 6th round pick in 2016, the odds of him turning into a pro, let alone a household name are low but that won’t prevent him from doing everything he can to make the big show! In his second full season in the WHL, Phillips was a 90 point man (50g-40a) in 2016-17 and will look to improve upon his point totals this season on the island.

Intriguing Camp Invite

Josh Healey: The Flames love having a rugged defenseman on their team. The past 3 seasons that has been Derek Engelland. Enter Josh Healey, a rugged, human hit machine! A former Ohio State Buckeye, Healey has a reputation for playing the game on the edge (and sometimes beyond the edge). He is not completely one-dimensional, with 25 points in his final collegiate season. To be successful at the next level Healey will need to work on his foot speed and discipline.

The full Flames roster can be found here.