CALGARY, AB --
For those who attended the Calgary Flames development camp earlier this month, watching John Ramage
patrol the blueline was a little blast from the past.
His father, Rob Ramage, is a former NHL defenceman who was with the Flames when they won the Stanley Cup in 1989. 22 years later, his son is donned his old number, 55.
"It's an honour," Ramage smiled when asked about his father. "It's pretty cool to be able to wear the same jersey that he wore. I'm just excited to be out here."
Some may think going down the same career path as his father would place an incredible amount of pressure on Ramage but he insists it is the exact opposite.
"He's been helpful. He's always been the type of dad that's been laid back and just let me go. Every time I need help with anything, he's right there to support me. He was able to teach me so many little things about the game that a lot of people never got so I feel very fortunate.
"He's super excited for me to be out here and have an opportunity to see what I can do."
Fans were able to get a glimpse of what the 20 year-old brings to the ice over the holidays last season. Ramage was the captain of the American squad at the 2011 World Junior Championships, helping his team win the bronze medal at the tournament.
"It's a great opportunity to be able to represent your country and to be the captain ... it's something that doesn't happen very often," he said. "It's a memory I'll never forget. It gave me a little bit of confidence going into that year."
Ramage attended development camp for the first time this summer - on his own dime in order to protect his NCAA eligibility - and had nothing but good things to say about the experience.
"All the guys are great. We've had a lot of fun and everyone works hard."
It also gave him a taste of just how important hockey is in the city. While there is a great deal of support for his club in Wisconsin, he admitted the amount of media members at the development camp was a bit of a shock.
"It's definitely a little different. They don't have the same media coverage in Wisconsin. But it's good. It's a learning experience and I'm happy to be here."
The Flames had spoken with Ramage about turning pro this season but the blueliner has opted to spend another year at the University of Wisconsin. The organization has no qualms about the decision, supporting Ramage completely.
"I need another year," he told the Calgary Herald. "Last year as a team, we had an OK year. I felt personally I could have had a better year. I want to go back and refine my game. Have a good season and go from there."Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson