The Calgary Flames will participate in the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC, beginning Friday, September 11, 2015. This will be the fifth time the Flames have participated. The round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets from September 11-14th.
The Young Stars Classic version of the Battle of Alberta takes place on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8:30 PM MT.
Here are a few Oilers prospects to keep an eye on:
Long considered to be a generational talent, Connor McDavid is expected to deliver an immediate impact for the Oilers. The first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft was dominant in the Ontario Hockey League in 2014-15, recording 44 goals and 120 points in just 47 games. He added 21 goals and 49 points in 20 playoff games before his Erie Otters were ousted from the OHL Playoffs by Calgary Flames prospect Hunter Smith and the Oshawa Generals. Still, McDavid was given the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as playoff MVP. The Richmond Hill, ON native repeated as the OHL’s Subway Scholastic Player of the Year and was also named Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year. McDavid was also named Canadian Hockey League Sportsnet Player of the Year.
Drafted third overall, one spot ahead of Calgary’s Sam Bennett, in the 2014 NHL Draft, Leon Draisaitl made the Oilers out of training camp last season and recorded two goals and nine points in 37 games played. In an effort to spur his development, Draisaitl was assigned to the Western Hockey League in January and had 19 goals and 53 points in 32 regular season games for the Kelowna Rockets. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound centre added 10 goals and 28 points in 19 playoff games to help Kelowna to the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions. He led the Rockets to the Memorial Cup Final, too, in which Draisaitl earned the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as most valuable player.
Darnell Nurse, Edmonton’s first pick (No. 7) in the 2013 NHL Draft, made the Oilers out of training camp a year ago, but was assigned back to his junior club, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, after just two games. Back in the OHL, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound blueliner had 10 goals and 33 points in 36 games played. He added three goals and eight points in 14 playoff games before joining the Oklahoma City Barons, recording four assists in four games in the Calder Cup Playoffs. It’s expected the big, smooth-skating defenceman will compete for a spot on Edmonton’s blue line this season.
Greg Chase, who spent parts of five seasons with the Calgary Hitmen, had 18 goals and 44 points in 46 games last season after being acquired by the Victoria Royals in exchange for Flames prospect Keegan Kanzig. The 6-foot, 189-pound forward added seven goals and 11 points in 10 playoff games for the Royals before joining Oklahoma for four playoff games. The 20-year-old seventh round pick (No. 188) in 2013 NHL Draft is expected to continue his development with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, in 2015-16.
A free-agent signing of the Oilers in May, Eetu Laurikainen appeared in 37 games this season with the Espoo Blues of Finland's SM-liiga, recording a 17-10-9 record, 2.10 goals against average, .933 save percentage and four shutouts. Previously undrafted, the 22-year-old goaltender spent two seasons with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, posting a record of 55-43-12 with four shutouts and also played in 11 career WHL playoff games for the Broncos.