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Parsons exited to join teammate Tkachuk, Flames

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

First, the ticker.

Next, the text.

Tyler Parsons saw his name scroll across the TV.

It prompted a reach for the phone.

“We’re together buddy,” it read.

Matthew Tkachuk read it on the other end.

“I texted him right after,” Parsons said. “I think that’s pretty cool to have one of the guys that you had an amazing season with. To be in the same side as him, hopefully we’ll have long and good careers with Calgary. I think we’re both looking forward to that.

“Just really, really excited.”

The pair currently ply their trade together with the London Knights.

Both hope to pry their way together onto the Calgary Flames.

On Friday, the Flames plucked Tkachuk with their first pick (No. 6) of the 2016 NHL Draft; Parsons was nabbed in the second round (No. 56) on Saturday.

Reunited.

Just a month after hoisting the Memorial Cup together just four weeks ago.

Reunited when Parsons, celebrating at his grandma’s house in Detroit alongside about 90 people, saw his name scroll across the ticker announcing him as the Flames first pick of the second day of the draft.

“It was pretty cool,” Parsons said. “When I saw Calgary’s pick, I had a gut feeling about it. It was pretty cool to see my name on live TV.

“We had a big ol’ party in the basement and we had a projector screen and we were waiting for my name to pop up. It did and Calgary took me and everyone screamed. Everyone was happy. When you have 90 people in the basement, it gets pretty loud. It was an awesome experience, definitely once in a lifetime.”

Those ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences have been piling up.

The kid already has quite a scrapbook.

Alongside Tkachuk as a member of the powerhouse Knights , the 18-year-old puck stopper capped an impressive regular season with a J. Ross Robertson Cup as Ontario Hockey League champions.

The pair followed it up with an equally impressive performance at the Memorial Cup, defeating the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the final, a 3-2 overtime thriller.

Tkachuk netted the overtime marker; Parsons pushed aside 29 of 31 attempts.

The tournament was held just an hour and change up the QE2 in Red Deer.

“It was awesome,” Parsons said. “The Calgary skyline … Calgary reminds me of upper Michigan … lots of land, relaxing, fresh air. I have a cottage up north and I love going up there. Calgary reminds me of that. It’s going to be very cool. Everyone I’ve talked to only has good things to say about Calgary.”

Good things about Calgary.

And something about the Flames.

To a man, Parsons figured he'd be back out west.

Call it an inkling.

“A little bit,” admitted Parsons, who saw six London teammates get drafted in total. “I talked to a handful of teams who were really interested and Calgary was one of them. Every team that was interested, whenever they get their pick, you watch the screen a bit harder. Right when Calgary came up, I got this different feeling and about 20 seconds after that I saw the name go up on the screen.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m really excited.”

Excited to be with Tkachuk.

Excited to be with the Flames.

The reunion, the debut, will come in early July.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Parsons started, “and I’m excited to get this development camp under way.”

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