The Calgary Flames will participate in the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC, beginning Friday, September 11, 2015. This will be the fifth time the Flames have participated. The round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets from September 11-14th.
Here is Torie Peterson's list of Flames prospects to keep an eye on:
Fans missed out on watching Emile Poirier in last year's Young Stars Classic as the Montreal, QC product was recovering from shoulder surgery, but the shifty winger will suit up for the Flames this weekend.
Poirier, 20, is coming off a successful rookie season in the AHL, where he managed 19 goals and 42 points in just 55 games with the Adirondack Flames -- good for second in team scoring. Making his production even more impressive is the fact that he was the team's youngest player. He adapted extremely quickly and found a way to make an impact. Poirier also earned himself an NHL call-up in the 2014-15 and ended up playing in six games for the Flames, collecting his first NHL assist in the process.
This year, the 2013 first round pick has his sights set on a roster spot in Calgary and this week's tournament is the first step at showing the Flames brass how far he has come over the course of the last calendar year.
Like Poirier, Bill Arnold is looking to build off a strong rookie campaign in the AHL. He isn't flashy like his former Boston College linemate Johnny Gaudreau but he has the skill set to produce offensively; he scored 15 goals and registered 38 points in 61 games in Adirondack last year, and racked up 144 points during his four-year tenure at Boston College.
Arnold, who is right-handed, is also extremely smart defensively. He knows where to be to capitalize on turnovers, is a strong back-checker, and acts as a safety net if his wingers get caught out of position.
The Boston, MA native The 23-year-old will likely be asked to take on a big role at the Young Stars Classic, both on the ice and in a leadership capacity.
When the Flames called out Andrew Mangiapane's name in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Draft, many didn't know anything about the diminutive winger from the Barrie Colts despite the fact he recorded 104 points in the 2014-15 season. And then he showed up at development camp in July and turned a whole bunch of heads.
The 19-year-old earned a few Johnny Gaudreau comparisons during camp thanks to his speed and skill level. He can finish, as his 43 goals last year can attest to, and can act as a set-up man thanks to his vision and ability to make plays at top speed.
Mangiapane is also an adept penalty killer, can drive opponents crazy by being a pest, and has earned plenty of praise for his work ethic. The Young Stars Classic will give him a chance to see how he stacks up against top NHL prospects and prepare him for main camp.
Patrick Sieloff has faced a multitude of challenges since being drafted by the Flames in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft, but the blueliner's unwavering determination has carried him through the rough patches.
Over the past three seasons, the defenceman has skated in just 95 games, including 48 during the 2014-15 season with Adirondack, but Sieloff is healthy and is looking to be an impact player this year. Known for his bone-rattling hits, the 21-year-old's style of play trends towards that of a shutdown, physical blueliner but he has a howitzer of a shot that can handcuff goaltenders when he hammers it on net from the point.
Given his limited ice time over the past three years, this year's tournament is a great way to get his 2015-16 campaign underway with a bang.
Kenny Agostino started his first professional season fairly slowly. In the first three months of the 2014-15 campaign, he had just nine points to his name -- three goals and six assists. But the coaching staff was patient with the left winger, and they continued to place him in a variety of situations to help him develop.
The result? Agostino turned into one of Adirondack's top forwards by the end of the season, leading the team in scoring with 15 goals and 43 points in 67 games. He capped off the year with 12 points in 10 games, giving him plenty of momentum heading into his sophomore season.