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Final impressions

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
ST. PAUL, MN -- Huddled over endless scouting reports, statistic rankings and player profiles, Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster is spending the final day before the NHL Entry Draft channeling his inner journalist, interviewing player after player.

"We have a group of us that did not attend the combine in Toronto back at the beginning of June so we're actually interviewing players that we believe, potentially, could be there when we're drafting - whether it's at 13 or in the second round," Feaster told "We want to be able to make sure that pretty much all the guys have seen these players and certainly that I've been able to have an opportunity to talk to them."

The interview process and flow is different for every player that walks through the door. Questions asked depend on where Feaster and his crew believe they'll fall in the draft and just how open the prospect is.

"There are some guys that come in here and do a great a job. They let their guard down and you're able to get a little glimpse of that personality. "

On the flip side, some players are closed off and their personality is extremely difficult to get a read on. The vast majority of players in attendance have been coached supremely well by handlers, agents and parents. They know exactly what kind of questions will be thrown at them and they have mentally cataloged what they believe are the best answers.

Despite this challenge, the team works at digging in enough to get essential information.

"You want to find out what makes them tick, what motivates them. You want to find would what kind of a teammate they are, what kind of a teammate they like."

While Feaster believes the interview process is crucial for he and his team to make the best selection possible, the most influential factor will be the list head coach Tod Button and the rest of of the amateur scouting team are in the midst of putting together.

The scouting team is finalizing a rundown of where exactly each prospects ranks. When the Flames take to the podium at the Xcel Energy Center, that list will determine exactly which player will be donning a Flames jersey.

"We're not going to say 'We have to draft a defenceman, we have to take a skilled forward.' We're going to work the list," Feaster stated. "The priority for our scouts is to make sure the list is in the proper order so that the best player is number one, the next best player is two and right on through to the end of our list.

"We won't make a decision based on the interview. It really does come down to what our scouts see. It's how they play. It's where we believe they're going to be as players, how they'll develop. But it's important to get some sense of personality. "

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