With the 2017 Young Stars Classic kicking off on Friday in Penticton, CalgaryFlames.com has five players to keep an eye on throughout the tournament:
82 - Tyler Parsons - Goaltender
It appears Parsons is about to make the jump to the pro ranks this fall. The Chesterfield, Mich., native has accomplished just about everything he can at the junior level - an OHL Championship, a Memorial Cup victory, gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship - and will be making a push to earn himself a spot on either the Kansas City Mavericks or Stockton Heat roster for the 2017-18 season. Earlier this summer, Parsons had a tremendous showing at the Flames development camp and was one of the club's best players during the week-long affair. That experience should serve as an excellent springboard into this weekend's tournament, which will feature the best players in the Canucks, Oilers and Jets prospect pools.
42 - Juuso Valimaki - Defence
The Flames' 2017 first-round pick has had a remarkable summer thus far. After being selected 16th overall in the NHL draft, he proceeded to turn heads as one of the Flames top propsects at development camp despite being one of the youngest players on the ice. Valimaki then headed off to Michigan for the World Junior Summer Showcase and ended up being named Finland's captain for the upcoming 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Given how well he has performed against his peers, especially over the past couple of months, he could be one of the top blueliners at this year's Young Stars Classic.
85 - Josh Healey - Defence
If someone is going to set a physical tone at the Young Stars Classic, it is the Ohio State alumnus. Healey keeps attackers in check with his bone-crunching hits and aggressive style of play, which led him to 212 PIM over a four-year collegiate career with the Buckeyes. In addition to keeping opponents heads on a swivel, he is a strong puck-mover and can quarterback a powerplay. With his two-year entry-level contract kicking in this fall, the 23-year-old will be looking to get his first professional camp with a bang and this tournament is an ideal setting for the rearguard.
15 - Spencer Foo - Right Wing
The highly sought after college free-agent opted to sign with the Flames after a three-year stint at Union and in his first appearance in Calgary silks, he didn't disappoint. He was one of the top forwards at this summer's development camp and showed off his skill when he went head-to-head with Parsons in a shootout. Deking out the netminder in tight, Foo's quick backhand-to-forehand move allowed him to slip the puck around Parsons' pad and earned a chorus of "Foooooooooooo" chants from the crowd.
47 - Matthew Phillips - Right Wing
Last year, Phillips followed up his time at the Young Stars Classic with his best WHL season to date. The Calgary product scored 50 goals and posted 90 points in 70 regular season games and then headed to Stockton to join the Heat on an amateur try-out after the Victoria Royals were eliminated from the playoffs. What the winger lacks in size - standing at 5-foot-7 and weighing in at 155-lbs. - he makes up for with skill. As his offensive totals show, he has no problem producing given his creativity, puck skills and speed. He will likely take on a big role at the Young Stars tournament thanks to his experience and rapid progression over the past couple of seasons.