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Calgary Flames Young Stars Tournament Primer

Prospects in Penticton is just days away.

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-National Championship Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the Calgary Flames announced their roster of players that will be competing in the annual Young Stars Tournament in Penticton. The group of players participating for the Flames includes:

Forwards

#95 Mikkel Aagaard

#94 Brayden Burke

#62 Austin Carroll

#78 Justin Doucet

#59 Dillon Dube

#77 Mark Jankowski

#45 Morgan Klimchuk

#96 Dennis Kravchenko

#56 Ryan Lomberg

#88 Andrew Mangiapane

#47 Matthew Phillips

#60 Brett Pollock

#87 Mathieu Sevigny

#71 Hunter Smith

#19 Matthew Tkachuk

#75 Eetu Tuulola

Defencemen

#54 Rasmus Anderson

#98 Riley Bruce

#63 Ryan Culkin

#76 Roman Dyukov

#80 Stepan Falkovsky

#92 Aaron Hyman

#73 Keegan Kanzig

#58 Oliver Kylington

#52 Kenney Morrison

Goaltenders

#36 Jon Gillies

#72 Mason McDonald

#82 Tyler Parsons

#70 Nick Schneider

Schedule

The Flames play one game against each of the other tournament participants, their western Canadian rivals. The ball gets rolling on Friday against the Jets, before wrapping up on Monday against the Canucks. The schedule is as follows:

Sept. 16 5:00 PM: Calgary vs Winnipeg

Sept. 17 8:30 PM: Calgary vs Edmonton

Sept. 19 4:00PM: Vancouver vs Calgary

(All times listed in MST, all games will be streamed on the Calgary Flames website)

Tournament Players to Watch

The Young Stars Tournament is always an intriguing view. Other than college prospects and the odd European, you get a collection of the team’s best prospects battling it out with our Canadian rivals’ best prospects. The intensity is fairly high, as players are looking for an opportunity to make an impression on their respective clubs. Combine that with the mediocrity of all 4 teams in recent years, there is going to be some high profile prospects participating. The Jets have NCAA dynamo Kyle Connor, the Oilers have the 4th overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi, while the Canucks have defenseman Olli Juolevi, who they saw as a superior choice to the Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk.

Flames to Keep an Eye On

The Flames seem to have drafted very well the past couple of years, making an interesting cast of talented prospects worth paying attention to. Here are a few I find particularly noteworthy.

#19 Matthew Tkachuk: We have heard a ton about Matthew Tkachuk, but we have not seen him play a game since the Flames were able to draft him 6th overall. Some think he will make the Flames roster this season, others think he will need another year in junior. If he is to make the Flames opening roster, he is going to need a great training camp and this is where it all starts.

#77 Mark Jankowski: It seems like another life ago that the Flames drafted Mark Jankowski 21st overall, but the fact of the matter is it was only 2012. Still, Jankowski has not played a single game as a Flame yet, as NCAA players do not participate in this tournament. We will finally get to see Jankowski in action for the Flames, he should be in a fairly prominent role due to his status as a high draft pick and the fact he turned 22 today. Happy Birthday Mark!

#58 Oliver Kylington and #54 Rasmus Andersson: Both drafted in the second round in 2015, these two Swedish defensemen are immensely talented and both have the potential to one day become impact players at the NHL level. Andersson had a great tournament last year, while Kylington is coming off a complete season at the AHL level as an 18-year-old. We should see their skills on display and hopefully we see how the two of them play as a pairing.

#88 Andrew Mangiapane: Mangiapane was a dynamic, offensive machine the past couple of seasons in the OHL. He will turn pro this season; this tournament will offer a glance of how close he could be to cracking the NHL level. A Tkachuk-Jankowski-Mangiapane line could be the most threatening line in the tournament.

All the Goalies (there are a lot): Premium prospect Jon Gillies will be in Penticton after only playing in 7 games last year before season ending surgery. Mason McDonald will be there as well, eligible to turn pro this season, but also eligible to be sent back to the QMJHL. 2016 second round pick Tyler Parsons and Nick Schneider who the Flames signed in training camp last year, round out the goaltenders the Flames will bring to Penticton.

The other 2016 draft picks: The speedy Dillon Dube, rugged Eetu Tuulola and slippery Matthew Phillips will all be joining the team in Penticton. All 3 impressed at the Flames prospect camp in July, this is a chance to see how these guys look against enemy competition before they are sent back to their respective WHL teams for further development. 6’7” defender Stepan Falkovsky, whom the Flames drafted in the 7th round this past draft, will also be in attendance.

The Undrafted Invites: Every year a group of players are invited to come play for the Flames. Often, there are no further relations following the tournament, but sometimes it can lead to a player receiving a contract with the organization, whether it be an AHL deal or an NHL contract (Nick Schneider). The player to keep an eye on for sure is Brayden Burke. I wrote about the Flames inviting Burke earlier; he finished 3rd in WHL scoring with Lethbridge but went undrafted for the second straight year, making him eligible for the Flames to sign him to an entry-level-deal if he impresses. Other players invited to camp include forwards Mikkel Aagaard, Justin Doucet, Dennis Kravchenko, Mathieu Sevigny, as well as defenceman Roman Dyukov (who has signed a contract with the Stockton Heat) and the Calgary Hitmen’s Aaron Hyman.