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Prospect Profile: Greg Nemisz

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
CALGARY, AB -- For the majority of the population, summer time is synonymous with rest and relaxation. It's the time to take a step back from the hussle and bussle of everyday life and bask in the sunshine and warm weather.

Greg Nemisz's summer has been the exact the opposite of that description.

"It's been a little different this year. I've had a lot of time to train and it's been a good thing for me but right now I'm kind of itching to play hockey again. It's been a little too long."

The 21 year-old has been working non-stop since the Abbotsford Heat's season concluded. As soon as he was done on the ice, he started his off-ice training and is feeling physically and mentally prepared to make a push for a roster spot this fall.

"Just time in the gym has been really beneficial. This year I've had a lot more time than in the past and I feel a lot better."

When he was drafted by the Flames in the first round (25th overall) of the 2008 Entry Draft, scouts raved about Nemisz's soft hands, ability to create havoc in front of the net and his on-ice vision. Those things are still earning the Courtice, ON native praise after his first full year as a pro.

Through 68 games with the Heat, Nemisz notched 14 goals and 33 points, making him fourth in team scoring. He's extremely pleased with his first year in the American Hockey League.

"It was an amazing experience actually. I got a really good chance to play down in Abbotsford as a lot of us young guys did. That was great, I learned a lot."

That growth led him to being recalled by the Flames for six games near the end of the season. He picked up his first NHL point during his time in Calgary, an assist in a 6-1 thumping of the Flames divisional rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, on April 6.

After being reassigned to the Heat, the Flames coaching staff pulled Nemisz aside and gave him some advice that he has taken to heart as he trains this summer.

"They told me to keep getting bigger, faster and stronger. I've got to work on my first three steps. That's something I'll always have to do as a big guy. I always want to get a little quicker."

For the majority of the year, Nemisz played on a line with Lance Bouma. During their coinciding stints with the big club, they also played together on the fourth line and did not look out of place on the ice.

"He's a smart player. He knows the game well. We've had some chemistry together," Bouma said at the end of the season.

After Nemisz's first game, head coach Brent Sutter lauded the duo and their ability to create quality scoring opportunities despite their limited playing time.

"I thought when they were out there and had some shifts, they created some energy. They both had a couple of opportunities. Too bad they couldn't bury them for us, because they were at key times. But credit to them for working like they did to create those opportunities."

Nemisz took a lot out his experience in Calgary and is using that knowledge as he continues to prepare for the Flames main training camp later this summer.

"It's just the pace. You're playing against men. There's a level up of decision making and things are happening a little faster so you pick up on stuff like that. And the way guys conduct themselves every day, you always have an eye out for that.

"You want to turn heads at main camp and then try to make a push for the team."

Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson
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