Sunday, July 14, 2013

Other Post-Scrimmage Comments - Jankowski, Hanowski, Klimchuk, Penner

Saturday was the first of two scrimmages at the Calgary Flames development camp. Afterwards, I caught up with several players and we chatted about a variety of topics. Included was:
  • Sven Baertschi - He talked about how he's trying to get the others at camp to smile and have a good time. Having played on a line with Markus Granlund in the scrimmage, he also chatted about the Finn and the strides the Flames second round pick has taken. Read the story here.
  • Lauren Brossoit - He began his WHL career at age 15 and now is 20 and ready to turn pro. He talked about what lies ahead and the great opportunity there is in Calgary for a goaltender. Read the story here.
  • Scrimmage Recap - I also cobbled together all the notable performances that stood out for me and posted it in the form of 12 random observations. Read the story here.
As for the other players I had a chance to chat with post-game -- Ben Hanowski, Mark Jankowski, Morgan Klimchuk and Linden Penner, here is a summary of their comments.

Ben Hanowski

Acquired from Pittsburgh in the Jarome Iginla trade. The 22-year-old played five games for the Flames last year after graduating from St. Cloud State and scored one goal, which came in his debut versus Minnesota. He's been in Calgary since June 9 working out daily with team personnel to improve his overall strength as well as his skating. He played on a line centred by Roman Horak in the scrimmage and they seemed to mesh well.

On the past month of training:
  • They really want you to get better so it’s been really good to be up here, getting pushed by these guys that are part of the organization for a month.
  • In the morning, it’s Domenic Pittis, skills coach and in the afternoon, Rich Hesketh, strength and conditioning coach. It's two-a-days,  five days a week, and then a skate on Saturday.
  • They’ve kept us busy and I’m feeling pretty good. You’re done by 3 or 4 and you’re just ready to hang out and lay low.
  • I feel better on the ice. 
On the scrimmage:
  • You don’t feel the fatigue, your adrenaline gets going, you’re playing a game, so definitely fun. It’s nice to get bumped around too and have some physical play and get a feel for that again because it is different than just playing shinny. It was a good. Obviously you could tell it was a little cluster out there. There wasn’t a lot of flow to the game but that’s what happens when you just throw guys together and everyone’s going hard.
  • It is a big group. Obviously, you don’t want guys to get hurt, but if you’re a physical player, you have to show that you’re a physical player and be physical. It’s tough that it’s in July but you have to be ready to compete and be ready to get knocked on your butt if you’re not ready.
Comparing his two Pittsburgh development camps he attended (2009, 2010) to Calgary:
  • This one is a little bit tougher, just the on-ice stuff. Yesterday’s skate and the first skate were tough. Hour and a half, a couple mountains at the end of the skate yesterday. The skates are a little bit more ramped up but they’re pretty similar.
  • When we had our scrimmages and practices (in Pittsburgh), there was always a lot of people. Today was awesome with all the fans here, all the way around. It’s the kind of atmosphere and city you want to play in. 
Looking ahead to training camp 2013:
  • All I’m going to do is work as hard as I can, get in great shape, get stronger, work on my skating, and come to camp and just work hard. It’s in my control how well I can perform, but there’s a lot of good hockey players and there’s not a ton of spots open up front so if I end up in Abbotsford, it’s not going to devastate me. I’m just going to go into camp and have no regrets and play hard.

Mark Jankowski

Seeing him on the ice, his combination of quickness and size -- up to 6-foot-3 "and a half" Jankowski always points out, it's easy to see why the Flames were excited about him as a prospect and took him with their first pick in the 2012 draft. He gets where he needs to go in a hurry and is a huge presence in the middle of the ice. He will be heading back to Providence for his second year of college hockey. In the scrimmage he centred a line with David Eddy and Kenny Agostino.

On the scrimmage:
  • Definitely, everybody in the room was looking forward to this day. It was a fun out there and I’m glad we could get the win, too. We’re really competitive, everyone here is competitive so we were really happy after that.
On the differences of it being his second development camp now:
  • I feel a little bit more comfortable out there. I’ve been here once before so I have that comfort, I know the guys a little bit more too and I’ve scrimmaged here before so everything is just a little bit more comfortable.
On being a bit taller and 14 pounds heavier this year:
  • I definitely feel a lot bigger and I feel a lot stronger out there, which means I can compete harder in the corner for pucks and battling and taking the puck hard to the net and all that kind of stuff. That’s what I wanted to work on in my game and I feel like I did that a little bit there at school and I still have a lot to improve on.
On the overall higher calibre of prospects at this year's camp:
  • Everyone out there, it’s definitely a high-compete level, great skill and great talent out there. So the camp, it’s definitely very competitive.
  • I definitely want to take everything I’ve learned here, just how the compete level is just so high, everyone’s trying to make the team. When you come out here and you see all these great players, you want to take some things that they do well and try to work it into your own game as well.
On the city of Calgary:
  • I love it. The Stampede was awesome last night, go see the Chuckwagons and all. That was really cool.
Morgan Klimchuk
A Calgary native, Klimchuk was the Flames third and final first round selection in the 2013 draft. He just turned 18 in March and is the youngest player at the development camp. He was one of five left wings that were rotated on the Red team during the scrimmage so he had different linemates throughout after starting out with Corban Knight and Tim Harrison. He was one of two players out of 10 to score a goal in the shootout held after the game.
On the development camp experience:
  • I was talking to people coming into camp and asking them what to expect. It’s tough on you, you’re doing two-a-days, not a lot of sleep, but it’s great just to be wearing this jersey and get this experience going and kind of get my feet wet in what to expect to play for the Flames.
  • I was pretty happy with how I played today. Played pretty skilled, reliable defensively and I think that’s the biggest jump you need to make at this level. I was playing with a lot of different players, playing a lot of different roles today, but I thought I kept up fine. I’m just looking to grow every day and try to get better.
On staying at a hotel in his hometown, where he is roomates with Sean Monahan:
  • It’s a little bit different, it's 45 minutes from home all the way down here, but it’s good to stay with the guys, get to know everyone. I think that’s a pretty important part of this week. 
  • (Monahan) is holding up pretty well. He’s a great player and even a better person. He’s dealt with a lot of pressure I think for his whole career. He’s got the mental capacity to deal with that no problem. Like you saw today, he scored our only goal and he’s a great player and he’s handling the pressure really well.
On what he needs to work on:
  • To play at this level, obviously  you just need to get bigger and stronger and make your decisions pretty quick.  You do see pretty quick what you need to work on and that was one of the things I was looking to get out of this week.
  • You come here to earn a spot on the team, that’s your ultimate goal, so when you’re playing other guys that are trying out for the same position or trying out for the team in general, you want to make sure you outplay them but there’s a lot of great players here so it might take a while or it might happen pretty quickly, you just try to play your hardest every night.
On wearing a Calgary Flames jersey for the first time:
  • Pretty special, for sure. I’ve got some pretty small Flames jerseys and a pretty big one now. To get the one at the draft and hang it up next to the ones I had growing up was pretty special and I’m looking to get those framed now as that was a pretty big moment in my life.
Linden Penner
In one of the great stories from the scrimmage, the undrafted Penner who played with Whitecourt in the AJHL last year scored a pair of goals. While he watched the draft, he didn't expect to be drafted but was excited to get a call at 10 a.m the next morning from Flames Development Coach Ron Sutter inviting him to camp. The big winger is going to try and make Everett (WHL) in the fall having earned an invite to their camp. In the scrimmage, he played with Josh Jooris, another player at camp on a tryout basis and LW Turner Elson.
On the confidence the Flames will give him heading to Everett:
  • Definitely my confidence going into camp would be higher than it would have been if I wasn’t here but I just have to keep my head down and keep focusing and training hard because I’ve been going pretty hard with my personal trainer out in Sherwood Park this summer. I’m excited to go out there so hopefully it will be a good opportunity for me. 
  • I’ll be trying out for Everett next year. No guarantees but I’m going to work really hard and hopefully crack a spot on that roster next year. I’ve heard Kevin Constantine is the coach who will put you in the show if you have it so I’m pretty excited.
  • Saskatoon drafted me as the 10th round as a bantam. I was trying out for Saskatoon (Blades) this year and (head coach) Lorne Molleken cut me.
On watching the draft, then getting an invite and then, the development camp experience:
  • First my agent called, and then Ron (Sutter) gave me a call an hour later. I was so stoked. I was just excited to get here. It was a good day when he called me there and I got an invite.
  • It’s pretty cool. Being out there with Sven (Baertschi). Turner (Elson) and Josh (Jooris) were unreal linemates. I probably couldn’t have asked for anyone better to play with. Those guys have unreal skill so it was pretty cool to score those goals and have everyone cheering, it was a good experience for me.
  • It’s definitely an experience to be out there with those guys. I’ve never been one to get really nervous out there. But I mean, it’s cool to be out there with those guys. I’ve never skated at this level before so it was definitely a big jump for me but I enjoyed it, it was pretty fun out there.
On his two-goal game in the scrimmage:
  • That first goal (nice shot from the slot), I don’t score skill goals very often, I score those greasy ones like the second one so that was pretty cool. I was pretty impressed.

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