While the draft is a day of celebration for the young players being introduced to the NHL, for established players it can be an uneasy time, as the draft is also when many teams consummate the trades that kick-start the off-season.
Brandon Prust was not caught completely by surprise when told he was traded, instead the surprise came when Prust was informed he was reacquired by the Flames.
"It's been a whirlwind couple of days but it feels great to be back,” said Prust. "I was surprised, you hear certain things, but you're never sure what to believe.”
Darryl Sutter’s second major move of the draft weekend was trading Jim Vandermeer to the Phoenix Coyotes for Brandon Prust, who broke camp last season as a member of the Flames.
Prust was included in the trade deadline deal with the Coyotes for Olli Jokinen
, between both teams he played 36 games last season, tallying three points and 108 penalty minutes. His toughness and fearless approach to the game made him a valuable member of the Flames supporting cast last season, and many in the organization were loathe parting with the Flames third round draft pick in the 2004 draft.
Fortunately he is now back in the fold, and is expected to assume more responsibilities with the team next season. Prust, a native of London, Ontario, found out about he was returning to Calgary while at a Toronto Blue Jays game with friends.
“I ended up doing interviews three rows up from third base," said Prust.
So far this offseason the Flames have not shied away from tweaking a roster that faltered down the stretch last year. With a new coach and a renewed emphasis on the defensive end, Prust is looking forward to suiting up and playing for a contending team.
"For sure, (the emphasis on defense) is going to bring success. I know Darryl prides himself on defence and it's going to be great. You stop goals then you go get em," said Prust.
"Everything the team has done has been great. We're heading in the right direction and I'm looking forward to getting things going.”
Prust will be in town for the Curtis Glencross
Invitational golf tournament at Springbank Links on July 28, he intends to spend the remainder of the summer in London training and preparing for the demands of a full season with a team playing meaningful hockey.