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Calgary Flames

A Look At Development Camp, Part 2



On Wednesday, Hockey and Booze writer/friend of the site Justin Azevedo attended the Flames development camp. The following are his thoughts and observations on the prospects and organization.

Joni Ortio has an excellent sense of where he his relative to his net. His fundamentals are solid, if unspectacular. He’ll be a solid 1A/1B goalie if given the time.

Patrick Holland looked like a kid who came straight from junior. His skating and shooting talents are extremely raw, and he continually makes passes ahead and behind his targets. He may have the skill, but I’m just not seeing it yet.

-Where the hell did Kris Chucko go? Is he hurt or something?

-One thing that really pisses me off is when a player is in a drill where they're uncontested and they miss the net. There is literally no reason for this to happen. There is no pressure, and these guys are at a high enough level that they should be able to direct their shot where they want it to go. It's just one of those little things.

Paul Byron has really impressed me with his basic skills. He takes extremely long strides for a guy his size-thus, he moves much faster then it looks like he is and he saves energy that other guys may be expending. I haven’t really seen any skills that could be considered “high-level” out of him, but I suspect he’s holding back a little. It’s difficult to evaluate him, since there are maybe 5 guys that are even in the same realm of skill out there. I’m going to wait until main camp to make my decision about him, methinks.

-Thus far, I'd say there are 13, maybe 14 guys out of the 37 at camp who have NHL potential. If you're talking high-end potential (1.e. top 2 lines and defensive parings & starting goalie), that number drops to 5. I'll let you guys guess who.

John Ramage was the only one out there with a mouthguard. Eventually he bowed to peer pressure and took it out, but I still like to see little things like that.

-Carter Bancks didn't show me anything that separated him from the other tweener guys in Abbotsford. He's got 4th line potential and not much else.

-At one point, Sven Baertschi went down and did a couple of log rolls on the ice. You have no idea how worried I was at that moment-I thought he had torn an ACL or something. (Thankfully, he was just screwing around.) Once again, he was the last one off the ice.

-Chris Breen has impressed me the most out of everyone I've seen at camp. He's learned how to utilize his massive stride, has nice puck skills and is just manhandling guys out there because of his size (listed at 6'7, 225). I know a few people, including myself, scoffed at the praise Jim Playfair gave him at the end of the season, but it was all well-deserved. I was able to get him to answer a couple of questions after the ice time. Extremely surprised (in a good way) about him.

Finally, because Justin is awesome:

Interview With Chris Breen

by Arik Knapp