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2011 Young Stars: Calgary

by Derek Jory / Winnipeg Jets

An experienced line-up will fan the Flames, making them a tough team to beat.

In their first game of the 2010 Young Stars Tournament, the Calgary Flames annihilated the Anaheim Ducks 8-4 thanks to a six-goal outburst in the final half of play. That was the offensive highlight of the week for the Flames as they went on to score seven combined goals in their remaining games, both losses (5-3 to the Oilers, 5-4 to the Canucks).

Despite the 1-2 record, Calgary was tops in goals with 15 and they roasted the competition in shots finishing with 126, 28 more than second place San Jose and 47 more than Edmonton’s 79 attempts.

The Flames will again be a high-scoring bunch with 10 of their 18 forwards returning from a year ago, seven that spent last season in the American Hockey League, two of which spent time with the NHL Flames. Overall Calgary’s forwards boast a tournament best 474 games in the pros. Talk about experience.

On defence four of eight players will be back in Penticton; five were WHLers, three called the AHL home and one, T.J. Brodie, even appeared in three games with the Flames. This is a big group with all eight blueliners measuring in at 6-feet or taller.

You want to be in Penticton to check out the Flames, but: A – you don't want to lose the parking spot in front of your house, B – your psychic warned you about going out, C – the XFL is holding open tryouts or D – you're locked into a Three's Company marathon on Deja View; well don’t sweat it. Again. Like last year, has your back.

All eight games of the Young Stars Tournament will be available live on beginning September 11th. Full details on the Young Stars Tournament can be found at

Lance Bouma

F - Drafted 3rd round, 78th overall, in 2008 – Bouma is one of four Young Stars (three from the Flames) that spent time in the NHL in 2010-11, and the forward played the most games of anyone with 16. He collected his first NHL point (an assist on a Michael Backlund goal) in his second career game. Vancouver fans are familiar with his work as he spent four years with the WHL’s Giants scoring goals and setting up others regularly.

Chris Breen

D - Signed as free agent in 2010 – Career-highs were all the rage for this hulking 6-foot-7 defenceman last season as he set new benchmarks in games played (73) and goals (4), while ending his year in Abbotsford with the Heat with 11 points, one back of his personal best. He’s a physical player who can keep the puck out of his own net and light up the opposing goal from time to time, that’s some trio of skill.

Greg Nemisz

F - Drafted 1st round, 25th overall, in 2008 – A solid rookie season can do wonders for a player’s confidence and for the coach’s confidence in that player. Nemisz scored 14 goals and added 19 assists to his first go-round with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat and by the end of the season he was given time on the power play and penalty kill. The 21-year-old didn’t disappoint with more responsibility.


Dustin Sylvester

F - Signed as free agent in 2010 – Everyone loves an underdog and in sports more times than not that player is labeled as such because of their height. Sylvester, a forward who spent last season with Freiburg EHC in Germany, is one of three Young Stars measuring in at 5-foot-8, but stop to joke about his size and he’ll be in on net scoring the winning goal. He’s a Kelowna boy, so fans will be in his corner one way or another.


Joni Ortio

G - Drafted 6th round, 171th overall, in 2009 – The Flames gave up 14 goals in three games at this tournament last year so an improvement is needed in goal. Two new tenders are stepping up to the plate, Ortio and Laurent Brossoit; Ortio, a 20-year-old from Finland, put up some spectacular numbers for his country at the World Juniors a year ago and he carried that into time with TPS Turku in Finland’s Elite League. If he sees the puck, odds are he’ll stop it.

Author: Derek Jory |

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