Calgary’s top two prospects from the 2009 NHL Entry Draft have enjoyed their first taste of being part of the Flames organization.
Tim Erixon and Ryan Howse are among a group of 27 players taking part in Calgary’s summer development camp at the Pengrowth Saddledome this week.
“I’m starting to feel better and better,” said Erixon, who the Flames selected in the first round (23rd overall) last month in Montreal. “It’s a great deal and I’m enjoying it.”
After meeting Flames owner Harley Hotchkiss, Howse found out that the locker room stall he was assigned in the Calgary dressing room was right beside Jarome Iginla’s regular stall.
“I don’t know how far away I am (from playing for the Flames), but just the prospect gives me chills,” said Howse, Calgary’s pick in the third round (74th overall). “Being here right now and wearing the gear and dressing in here and being treated as well as we do, it’s a great time. It’s fun and I’ll never forget it.”
Erixon played 45 games for Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League last season and he expects “to be a big part of that team” once again.
“It sounds positive,” said the 6-foot-2, 189-pound defenceman, who’s aiming to improve upon the two goals and five assists he recorded last year. “It sounds like they believe in me.”
Meanwhile, Howse will be looking to build upon his second full season in the Western Hockey League with the Chilliwack Bruins.
“Obviously getting the experience right now at the camp here and the camp in September will be really good to bring back to Chilliwack,” said the 5-foot-11, 198-pound forward, who scored 31 goals and added 13 assists in 61 games this past season.
• The development camp runs until Saturday morning and sessions are open to the public.
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