August is almost over and before you know it, training camp will be here. Prospect camp opens just after Labour Day and it’s time to start thinking about what camp might look like.
Specifically, there are several players that you shouldn’t expect to see when camp kicks off on Sept. 5. The players you won’t see have other commitments – either academic or overseas.
Players who are Flames property
The Flames have eight drafted players (and one free agent signing) who will be playing in Europe or in school when training camp begins.
In Europe: Lucas Feuk (Sodertalje SK, Allsvenskan), Carl-Johan Lerby (Malmo, SHL), Linus Lindstrom (Skelleftea AIK, SHL), Ilya Nikolayev (Loko Yaroslavl, MHL) and Filip Sveningsson (IK Oskarshamn, SHL). Lerby is set to come over next season, while potentially Lindstrom and Sveningsson could be joining him given their ages and contractual statuses in Sweden.
In college: Demetrios Koumontzis (Arizona State), Mitchell Mattson (Michigan State), Josh Nodler (Michigan State) and Emilio Pettersen (University of Denver). Koumontzis and Pettersen are heading into their sophomore seasons. Generally, strong collegiate players tend to sign after two or three seasons so after this campaign they’d be entering the window where the Flames may try to lure them to the pros.
Development camp walk-ons
There were a ton of players without NHL (or AHL) deals that came to development camp in July. As with the players that are Flames property, many of these individuals won’t be coming to camp because they’re in Europe or in school.
In Europe: Johannes Kinnvall (HV71, SHL) and Christoffer Rifalk (Rogle BK, SHL)
In college: Tristan Crozier (Brown University), Ben Freeman (University of Connecticut), Zach Giuttari (Brown University), Ronnie Hein (Ohio State University), Tommy Miller (Michigan State University) and Jerad Rosburg (Michigan State University)
(Keep an eye on Kinnvall and Rifalk during the season, though, as it wouldn’t be unexpected to see the Flames try to sign them following the SHL season.)
The 2018 training camp was a bit wonky, in that the Flames sent 30 players to China and still needed enough bodies in Canada to operate a regular-sized camp. They invited a ton of players on try-outs and kept them around later than usual, until the main group returned from China.
The Flames will have around 26 players at rookie camp and 65 players at main camp. After they play their pair of split-squad games against Vancouver they’ll trim down to a smaller group – usually releasing junior players on tryouts – and later on before Stockton’s camp they’ll send away any AHL depth guys that don’t have a chance to make the NHL roster. From there, it’s a bit of a sprint to the finish.
In other words: it’s quiet now and the main thing we’re all doing is refreshing Twitter to see if any restricted free agents have signed yet. But in roughly a week, everything is going to start getting very busy and we’ll have actual hockey activity to discuss.