After weeks and weeks of speculating who would be heading to Penticton as part of the Calgary Flames in the Young Stars Classic we finally have a list. There are zero surprises and as assumed, 19-year-old Sam Bennett will be going too. After 11 NHL games, it's a great opportunity to showcase his growth from last season. Last year, we got to see what Johnny Gaudreau could do and he delivered:
This year, it's optimistic that we can see some strong performances from draftees from June as well as players looking to steal roster spots, like Morgan Klimchuk or Emile Poirier. Not only that, but Jon Gillies will be looking to showcase himself in preparation for the AHL season. Gillies will be looking to make a case for himself as he heads to Stockton for his first season as a pro.
The full list of invitees is as follows:
- Calgary's two second-round draft picks this past June: Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington should warrant quite a bit of attention. Especially Kylington, who is coming over from Sweden and was projected as a first-round pick. It's very likely to see Kylington playing in Brandon of the WHL or even in Stockton this fall. All of this will help build up his transition to North American ice as he's played nearly exclusively on European sized rinks.
- Tyson Baillie was passed over again, going undrafted in June. At 19 years old, he's looking to find somewhere to play this fall besides Kelowna potentially. He's shown some promise in an offensive game, putting up 76 points last year with Kelowna.
- Jason Fram who played last year with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL has some offensive upside and like Baillie, again went undrafted. At 0.66 PPG and with some decent size (6'0, 188lbs), Fram is another longshot though with some promise. If he has a strong outing, it's possible to see him earn a training camp invite in a few weeks.
- Eric Roy, who wasn't offered a contract, but was instead offered an ATO will be back. Whether he impresses the management or not is up to him, but after a few average seasons in junior, he has to really make the jump and make an impression.
- Kenney Morrison, the NCAA defenseman the Flames signed mid-game last season was also invited. This will give fans their first look at Morrison, who had a decent NCAA career with Western Michigan.