The 2017 Young Stars Classic will open with bang when the Flames and Oilers face off at 5:00 PM MT on Friday at the South Okanagan Center in Penticton, B.C.
The first game at the annual tournament could feature two 2017 first round picks in defenceman Juuso Valimaki (CGY, 16th overall) and right winger Kailer Yamamoto (EDM, 22nd overall). After both players turned heads at their respective development camps this summer, all eyes will be on the pair when they hit the ice in Penticton.
In net, the Flames have the likes of Tyler Parsons, Nick Schneider and Mason McDonald on the roster. With Parsons pushing to turn pro this year, the Flames could hand him the bulk of the work in net this weekend. In last year's tournament, it was Parsons and McDonald splitting duties against the Oilers, with Parsons making 17 stops on 18 shots and McDonald stopping seven of 10 shots.
On the Oilers side, they have brought Dylan Wells, Stuart Skinner and Shane Starrett. Wells and Skinner will likely split goaltending duties for the majority of the tournament as Starrett is there as an invitee. Wells, Edmonton's fifth round pick in 2016, was in net for last year's Battle Of Alberta at the Young Stars Classic, stopping 35 of 38 shots.
Fans can watch all Flames games at the Young Stars Classic on CalgaryFlames.com. Click HERE for a full tournament schedule.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
42 - Juuso Valimaki - Defence
Valimaki has developed into a key cog on the Tri-City Americans blueline. In the 2016-17 season, the Finn put up a career-high 19 goals and 61 points in 60 regular season games. He led all WHL defencemen 18 years of age or younger in goals and points last year, outpacing the likes of fellow first round picks Cal Foote and Henri Jokiharju. In addition to his time in Calgary this summer, Valimaki earned plenty of ice time with the Finnish U20 squad at the World Junior Summer Showcase. During the annual tournament in Michigan, he was named Finland's captain for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
56 - Kailer Yamamoto - Right Wing
Throughout his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs, Yamamoto has drawn comparisons to a player Flames fans know and love: Johnny Gaudreau. What he lacks in size, standing 5-foot-8 and weighing in at 153-lb., he makes up for with skill. He's dynamic offensively and has a very high hockey IQ, allowing him to put defenders on notice when he comes steaming into the offensive zone. In 2016-17, Yamamoto scored 42 goals and 99 points in 65 regular season games.