PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Brandon Bollig was never drafted.
Calgary is a real tough team. That’s what I bring but there’s more to me than that - Brandon Bollig
He got his moment courtesy the Calgary Flames after the club acquired Bollig in exchange for the 83rd pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
“I’m actually still waiting to be drafted,” said Bollig, who was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks after two years at St. Lawrence University. “I was never drafted so I was hoping to see my name pop up there. I watched [Friday] night to see what happens and what teams go through but I wasn’t watching it. I was doing other stuff and got the call.
“It was a shock for sure.”
The 6-foot-2, 223-pound forward had seven goals and 14 points in 82 regular season games last year for the Hawks, his third with the team. He also recorded a goal and an assist in the playoffs last year.
He was surprised when his phone rang to let him know his fourth season in the National Hockey League would be with the Flames.
“Well it definitely came as a shock. I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “You’ve got to be a professional and take things like this in stride. I’m excited for a new opportunity. Calgary is a cool city. I’m excited for all that. My time here (in Chicago) was quite memorable and I’m going to miss my teammates but I’m looking forward to meeting my new ones and creating new relationships. I’m excited.”
While the move may have been a shocker for Bollig, it was anything but for Calgary general manager Brad Treliving.
The deal had been in the works for weeks.
“We’ve been talking for a while,” admitted Treliving from the draft floor Saturday. “When we look at situations with the cap that people may have difficulty or may be in a situation where they have to move money so we’ve been talking with Chicago leading up to the draft, a couple weeks up to the draft.
“When that pick fell and we had a name there that didn’t quite hit, we were able to make a deal.”
Treliving used six picks to bolster the size of Calgary’s prospect pool.
He used another to give the Flames an immediate boost in size.
“We’ve talked a little bit about wanting to add some size to our lineup and I think Brandon’s a guy in a situation where if he’s given a little bit more responsibility, a little bit more opportunity, I think there’s still growth to his game yet,” he said. “He’s got some size. We’ve got some young people coming in terms of young skill and we want to make sure they’re surrounded with the right people. He’s won a Stanley Cup. We’re excited.”
Bollig, too, feels he can build on his first 125 NHL games.
“Calgary is a real tough team. That’s what I bring but there’s more to me than that,” he said. “I’m looking to build my game, build the role and expand my responsibility of that role.
“It’s going to be fun to continue to grow my game and see where I can take it.”