by Miranda Baker
Nothing comes easy
The Calgary Flames kicked off the on-ice portion of their rookie training camp Friday morning where 42 Flames prospects took to the ice and begun what looked to be a long week at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
To many of these future NHLers, this was the first time attending an NHL rookie camp, but for others, including goaltender Brent Krahn, this was just another chance to showcase their skills in front of Flames' coaches.
"I'm here to make the squad and to make the decision tough on management," said Krahn, following his power skating session Friday morning.
"I want to go in there and have a great camp and be confident in my ability; I've matured as a person and I want to make that next step."
But even for rookie camp veterans, nothing comes easy. There's no guarantee they will make it as far as they did the previous year.
It's everyone for themselves, and Krahn knows that.
"Nothing is given to you. I can't come into this camp expecting because I've played pre-season before that I'm going to play pre-season again," added Krahn.
"So I'm not assuming anything right now; I'm just here day-to-day practicing hard."
It may only be his second year at rookie camp, but already forward Eric Nystrom knows every opportunity is an important stepping stone to reaching his NHL dreams.
And with each year comes experience according to Nystrom.
"I've definitely improved and now I get another shot, and this is another opportunity to make the team," said Nystrom, who played two games for the Flames during the 2005-06 season.
"Having a chance to play in exhibition games and even a couple games in the regular season and to be here for playoffs, you're learning valuable things just being around the rink at those times."
That's why he knows participating in Flames rookie camp is so important to making the squad.
"We're all excited to be here, and it's a good opportunity," commented Nystrom.
Nystrom made his debut in the American Hockey League during the 2005-06 season, posting 33 points(15g, 18a) in 78 games for the Flames' farm team, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.