CALGARY -- Jakob Pelletier knows the likelihood of making the opening night roster for the Calgary Flames this season is slim, but that isn't going to stop him from trying.
The 18-year-old forward was selected by Calgary in the first round (No. 26) of the 2019 NHL Draft after he had 89 points (39 goals, 50 assists) in 65 games for Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.
"I think I just want to come here and try to force them to keep me. It's going to be hard to cut me," Pelletier said at Flames development camp in June. "That's what I'm going to do. I want to prepare maybe for next year so that at the camp, they're going to say, 'Yeah, we have to keep him.' Stuff like that.
"I know it's not realistic if I say I'm going to make the Flames [this] season. I want to and I'm going to do whatever it takes to do it, but if we're realistic, I'm going to go back to Moncton."
Flames general manager Brad Treliving said he will be patient with Pelletier (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) in order to give him time to properly develop.
"I look at this as he's got two full years of junior eligibility left," Treliving said. "This is a long game with him.
"It's just going to take some time. This is not a guy who is going to get all the things he needs to get done to be an NHL player between now and September, but you can see he's quick, he's competitive, he's a driver. That's my goal right now. Get him to the stage where he has all the information he can get to be prepared to come in.
"He's already asking questions … he's a sponge to figure out a way to get better. That's what you want."
Pelletier, who had two assists in seven games for Canada at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship, isn't deterred, he's just happy to have the opportunity to compete for a spot to play in the NHL.
"I kind of didn't realize it yet, that I'm part of an NHL team," Pelletier said. "It's just amazing. I don't know what happened on the Friday (at the draft). I've looked at it maybe 10 or 20 times and I still don't know. I think I kind of blacked out a little bit. I'm just really proud."
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