Earlier this week, Hockey and Booze writer/friend of the site Justin Azevedo attended the Flames development camp. The following are his thoughts and observations on the prospects and organization. Final Thoughts From Flames Dev Camp
Three Guys Who Impressed Me
John Gaudreau: The very first player I saw at camp was also by far the smallest-but damn is he good on the offensive side of the biscuit. His puck control is impeccable, passing crisp and on the tape and he's able to create open space for himself, limiting the amount of physical contact when he doesn't have the puck. In order to be an effective player at a pro level, he's probably going to have to put on 20 pounds, but he's not even 18 yet-so he's got a lot of room to grow.
Chris Breen: As I said on Thursday, Breen is the guy who surprised me the most out of anyone. The big deficiency in his game last year was his skating; he could barely move around the ice. Well, he's figured out how to use his stride and gets full extension from his legs-he'll probably get the tough minutes in Abbotsford this year.
Paul Byron: Don't be surprised if this guy gets regular minutes in the NHL this year. Out of all the players at the camp, Byron made everything look easy. wi was there with me on Wednesday, and she said she didn't see it, but the little things are all there and that was more then enough for this type of competition in my opinion.
Three Guys Who Underwhelmed Me
Max Reinhart: "Disappointed" wasn't the right word for this group. Truth be told, I expected a lot more from Max after an impressive playoff run and a season as dominant as he had. To be fair, my viewing time of him was only one ice time, so I can't make a definitive judgment-but I expected more based on past performance.
Greg Nemisz: Sigh. I had tried to stay positive about Greg this past year, but unless he takes a massive step forward for his 21-year-old season, he won't be more then a middling 3rd liner/good fourth liner at the NHL level.
Dan Bakala: For whatever reason, I expected the 23-year-old from Bemidji State to have a good camp-but he was the weakest of the goaltenders. He struggled with his position relative to the net and gave up some pretty juicy rebounds.
Three Guys Who Embarrassed Me
Keith Seabrook: Holy hell. I was talking to Arik on Wednesday about how bad Seabrook is, and he asked me how I thought he felt at the Thanksgiving dinner table. I said "I hope he feels terrible, because he sucks." Yep.
Roman Horak: I would've much rather had another draft pick in the Tim Erixon trade. I didn't even notice he was out there-it was like he was invisible, which is exactly what his Hockey's Future profile says. Ladies and Gentlemen, Ales Kotalik 2.0.
Logan MacMillan: I can't believe this guy was drafted in the first round. He is what Kris Chucko would've been had he not been saddled with all of those injuries. His fatal flaws? Skating, shooting and passing. Yeah, that's just as bad as it sounds.
If there was a group called "They are who we thought they were", you could put pretty much everyone else in that category, good and bad.
If anybody else has questions about any other prospects or would like me to elaborate on anything I've said over the past week, shoot. I'd be happy to answer.