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Veterans excited to see Bennett, Gaudreau up close

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

Obviously there’s a lot of buzz around about those two guys and rightfully so. They’re great hockey players and doing some good things. They’re here fighting for jobs just like the rest of us. It’s fun. Mason Raymond

CALGARY, AB -- Penticton is a long way from Calgary, but that didn't stop the buzz Sam Bennett and Johnny Gaudreau put together at the Young Stars Classic. It's reached training camp.

And current members of the Calgary Flames are looking forward to seeing what the duo can do up close.

“Obviously there’s a lot of buzz around about those two guys and rightfully so,” Mason Raymond said. “They’re great hockey players and doing some good things. They’re here fighting for jobs just like the rest of us. It’s fun. We’re out there competing and if you get the chance to play with them, you enjoy it and you relish it.”

Their resumes are well known.

Gaudreau, had 36 goals and 80 points in his final season with Boston College en route to capturing the Hobey Baker Award and a handful of other honours and distinctions. The 21-year-old scored in his NHL debut and had a strong showing at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

He added to his host of YouTube clips with a pair of highlight reel goals in Penticton last week, too.

Like Gaudreau, Bennett had a strong showing at the Young Stars Classic and joined the Flames in June as Calgary’s highest ever draft pick at fourth overall after posting 36 goals and 91 points with the Kingston Frontenacs at 18.

The pair’s portfolio has plenty of potential teammates interested.

“I’m curious,” captain Mark Giordano said. “I’ve seen Johnny play a little bit at the end of last year. You can see right away the skill set that he has. With Bennett, I haven’t really been on the ice with him so I’m excited to see him and a lot of our other young guys too.”

Though Giordano hasn’t seen Bennett up close, Dennis Wideman has.

Wideman spent several days with Bennett in Vail, CO. in preparation for Calgary’s main camp.

"I was just at a camp a couple weeks ago in Vail (Colorado) with him for four or five days and that’s where I met him," Wideman said. "I got a chance to skate with him and we did some workouts and stuff. There was probably 17 of us there. My impression of him is that I think he’s a really good player. He’s a high-end skill, a lot of speed.

"It’ll be interesting to see how he does. From what I saw in that short little span, he looks really good.”

Other members of the team won’t have to wait long to catch a glimpse of either Bennett or Gaudreau.

They will skate as the on-ice portion of Flames training camp gets underway Friday at WinSport as both vie for a spot on Calgary’s roster in their first spin at main camp.

“I’ll see it out there on the ice at some point, right?” Raymond said. “Him and Sam, they’ve deserved everything they’ve got like much of every guy that’s here right now.

"That’s what camp is all about. You get here and get amongst the guys and you’re out here competing.”

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