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Andersson focused on fitness as rookie camp gets underway

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- It probably wasn’t the easiest message to digest.

But when Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving let prospect Rasmus Andersson know he needed to shape up, the prospect heeded the advice.

And Treliving’s up-front honesty has already helped Andersson’s bid to become a first-year pro.

“I’ve improved since this summer,” Andersson said, after being put through the ringer at fitness testing at Canada Olympic Park’s WinSport facility in the kickoff to rookie camp Thursday.

“It felt way better this time.

“I’m happy with the results.

“I felt way better this time than in the summer. Dropped a couple pounds too. It’s always a confidence boost.”

Treliving fueled the boost in conversation with Calgary’s first pick (No. 53) in the 2015 NHL Draft two months ago.

There was no sugarcoating the talk, either.

“Ras and I are going to have a little chit-chat,” Treliving told reporters at development camp’s close.

“They’re young guys, and we all have kids that sometimes you have to tell and tell again. But also, there are times to be pros and doing the right thing. With Ras, the one thing (is) you watch him out on the ice and he’s got such calmness with the puck. He moves it like a pro.

“But there is more to being a pro than just skating around on the ice.

“We’re not in any position right now where we have alarm bells ringing off. But it’s time that, if in fact you want to be a pro this year, there are certain things and expectations.

“But I really am confident that he’ll show up in September looking the way he should look.”

Message sent.

Message received.

And, now September, Andersson is feeling like those strides have been made.

“He said what he thought and I took it in,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard at it this summer. I’ve been focusing on this a lot since development camp, to eat better, to eat healthier and just be more prepared.

“I think it’s about losing a little bit of weight, but transforming bad weight to good weight. I worked a lot on conditioning. The first three, four steps you have to be real quick, but mostly it’s been conditioning and transforming fat to muscle.

“I have a great coach at home who has been helping me a lot.

“It’s nice.”

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