A couple of them were given the opportunity to show what they have to offer in the big show with the Flames last season and are expected to challenge for spots in the 2009-10 season.
Part one of our five part series looking at the Flames at the NHL Draft from 2005 to 2009, takes a look at what the class of 2005 has been up to since their draft day.MATT PELECH – D (Video: )Drafted in 2005, 26th overall
|Matt Pelech had 125 penalty minutes during the 2009-10 season with the Abbotsford Heat. |
Pelech played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. He played the 2005-06 season with the London Knights, winning the OHL regular season championship. He was selected in the first round of the 2005 NHL entry draft by the Calgary Flames.
While with the Quad City Flames (AHL) for the 2007-08 season he played in 77 games and posted 141 penalty minutes.
Pelech showed up for the Flames 2008 rookie development camp in really good shape and finished at the top of the class in the fitness testing. The big d-man is recognized for his size and strength on the ice. He isn’t scared to go into the corners and grind it out for the puck.
The 6’3”, 220-pound Toronto boy was called up on April 4th, 2009 to make his NHL debut. He recorded his first career point, an assist, three nights later.
Pelech played 42 games this season with the Abbotsford Heat recording 10 points (2G, 8A) and racked up 125 penalty minutes. He added another four points in 13 Calder Cup playoff matches.J.D WATT – C Drafted in 2005, 111th overall
Watt, a native of Cremona, Alberta began his WHL career with the Vancouver Giants late in the 2003-04 season. As a member of the Giants, Watt won the 2006 President’s Cup and the 2007 Memorial Cup.
Watt is notorious for his role as an agitator and isn’t shy to throw his body around on either end of the ice. He hits hard and often and will throw anyone to the side that gets in his way.
Watt was selected in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL entry draft with this style of play in mind. He was assigned to the Quad City Flames where he played in 42 games in the 2008-09 season and recorded 142 penalty minutes. The aggressive winger dressed in 70 games for the Abbotsford Heat last season posting 13 points and loaded up a career-high 267 penalty minutes. MATT KEETLEY – GDrafted in 2005, 158th overall
Keetley played his entire junior career in his home town of Medicine Hat, Alberta. He led the WHL with a 1.66 goals-against-average and had a .933 save percentage during his draft year in 2005 when he was chosen in the fifth round by the Calgary Flames.
Keetley is a goalie known for his butterfly, positional style of play. He relies on being in position for the first shot and not having to scramble for the rebounds.
He led the league with 42 wins and was named to the WHL East First All-Star Team in 2006-07 and led the Tigers to their second WHL title in four years.
Although the Tigers lost in the Memorial Cup Finals to the host team Vancouver Giants, Keetley was awarded the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy for the tournament’s outstanding goaltender.
Keetley was assigned to the Quad City Flames for the 2007-08 season and made his NHL debut on November 5, 2007 replacing Miikka Kiprusoff
in net. Keetley played 33 games for Quad City in the 2008-09 season and was up and played 23 games last season for the Abbotsford Heat and nine games with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the East Coast Hockey League. With the Flames looking for a back-up for Kiprusoff in 2010-11, Keetley will be in the mix.BRETT SUTTER – C (Video: )Drafted in 2005, 179th overall
Brett Sutter, the son of Flames general manager Darryl, spent four years in the Western Hockey League with the Kootney Ice and Red Deer Rebels. He was coached by his uncle and current Calgary Flames head coach, Brent Sutter while in Red Deer.
The Viking, Alberta native was selected in the 6th round by the Calgary Flames at the 2005 NHL draft. He was assigned to the Quad City Flames in 2007-08 and played in 75 games during his rookie campaign.
Sutter was first called up to make his NHL debut on December 23, 2008 and scored his first NHL goal that night. Young Sutter appeared in four games for the Flames before being reassigned to his AHL team.
Sutter shifted with the Flames farm club to Abbotsford Heat last year where he played 66 games and recorded 24 points (9G, 15A). When the Flames watched three of their top penalty-killers fall to critical injury, Sutter was called upon again to fill the hole late in the season. He appeared in 10 games for the Flames and was used primarily on the penalty-kill and averaged over eight minutes of ice time.
Sutter then rejoined the Abbotsford Heat for their run to the Calder Cup Championships. He contributed 11 points (4G, 7A) in 13 games.