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Calgary prospect Negrin fits Flames' mold

by Miranda Baker / Calgary Flames

Speed, smarts and hard work.

Defenceman John Negrin believes these are what brought him to the Calgary Flames Organization and he has this week to show coaches that they made the right decision.

Prospects attend development camp

"I think the Flames base their hockey around a lot of speed, smarts and they always have a good work ethic, so I like to bring those factors to my game too," said Negrin, following an on-ice workout Wednesday at Calgary's Don Hartman North East Sportsplex.

The 18-year-old native of Vancouver, BC was drafted in the third round, 70th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and is currently joining 33 other Flames' prospects at the team's annual development camp, which runs through Saturday.

"Our goal here is to make it to the NHL someday," added Negrin. "There are a lot of people watching and camps like these help you get recognized, so everyone wants to do good."

One can tell from watching the 6'2'', 195 lb. blueliner that he puts in 100 per cent whether he's playing the offensive or defensive part of his game.

That's what makes Negrin a two-way defenceman.

"I like to think of myself as a two-way defenceman, offensively this past year I didn't produce as many points as I would have liked to, but I think there's an opportunity with my speed and my awareness," said Negrin.

"I try to work as hard as I can when I'm out there, I try to be patient with the puck and keep things simple."

Negrin, who spent his 2006-07 season with the Western Hockey League's Kootenay Ice, battled through not one, but two injuries last season. The first came only two days into Kootenay's camp when Negrin broke his ankle.

"With that injury I was out three and a half months, and then my first game back I got a concussion from a big hit," added Negrin.

"So those are definitely tough to take, but when it happens you just have to be positive."

After missing a good part of his season with the Ice, Negrin returned to register 16 points (1g, 15a) in 44 games.

"I didn't let them get me down and once I got back I just had to go out there and prove myself in the short amount of games I played," commented Negrin.

Negrin is described as a skilled defenceman with good mobility, who likes to pattern his game after Scott Niedermayer.

"He's very poised with the puck, makes smart decisions and is a great skater," said Negrin. "He's always been one of my favourite players and I try to take tips from his game because he's one of the greatest defenceman in the NHL."

The Calgary Flames development camp runs thru Saturday, July 21st at the Don Hartman North East Sportsplex. All on-ice sessions are open to the public.

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