Lance Buoma is engulfed in the Western Hockey League playoffs. But he still has an eye on the Calgary Flames.
The Vancouver Giants captain was drafted by the Flames in the 3rd round (78th overall) in the 2008 NHL entry draft.
Currently in his fourth full season with the Giants he is proving himself to be ready to take on the next challenge of playing professional hockey.
The Provost, Alta., native was born March 25, 1990, which still technically allows him to play one more season in the WHL. However, it is looking more than likely that he will join the Calgary Flames farm club, the Abbotsford Heat this summer.
"I’m obviously just focused on the playoffs here but next year should be fun and exciting new challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Buoma.
Bouma attended the Calgary Flames training camp last year. He will likely see a few familiar faces when he returns to camp this summer but there is a player Buoma played with on the Vancouver Giants in the 2006-2007 season. Forward J.D. Watt plays for the Abbotsford Heat. Bouma commented that it will definitely help with his transition into the AHL.
|Vancouver Giants Captain Lance Bouma |
Photo by: Chris Relke
“It’ll he huge for me,” said Bouma. “He’s a guy I know from right here in Vancouver so it’ll be nice to be able to go there and know a guy. I also know a lot of guys there from the summer camps so it makes you a little more comfortable.”
Bouma’s numbers speak for themselves when it comes to describing the style of player he is. This season he produced 14 goals, 29 assists for 43 points in just 57 games played in the regular season.
“Lance is a real strong young man, strong on the puck, and is a powerful skater,” said Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay. “He’s going to be a real good player on the fore-check. I think that’s his strength. He’s physical and he can fore-check and get on top of people.”
So far this year, the Giants have played in 10 playoff games and have advanced to the conference final against Tri Cities.
Bouma has been playing on a line with Brendan Gallagher and Craig Cunningham who have combined for a whopping 51 points for their club in the playoffs.
“I’m a power forward type of player. I like to bang up the body and like to get in hard on the fore-check,” Bouma explains. “I like to create time and space for my line-mates and put in the odd goal and that’s basically what I’m all about.”
When Bouma was asked about leaving his lengthy career with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, he admitted that he’ll definitely miss a few things and his teammates. He also spoke very highly of his favourite coach, Don Hay.
“I’ll take with me whatever Don Hay has told me,” Bouma said. “I think he’s been a great coach for me throughout the four years that I’ve been here and I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve learned how to check, how to play on the defensive side of the puck and that’s really something that you have to take to the next level.
I’ll miss always being around the guys. I think in the pro level it’ll be a bit different, you’re not around the guys as much but in WHL you’re always around the guys and together on the road and those are the kind of things that I’ll miss. I won’t miss the bus rides!” chuckled Bouma.
Author: Kristi Hennessy