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Calgary Flames Development Camp 2024

Courtesy of Emma Dowsett

After only having six picks in last year's draft, the Calgary Flames added to their arsenal with 10 picks this year, including two in the first round. The Flames held pick number nine and number 28. Some notable top 10 picks the Flames have drafted since 2014 include Sam Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk, Juuso Välimäki, Connor Zary, and Matt Coronato. With their ninth pick the Flames drafted defenseman Zayne Parekh from the Saginaw Spirit and with the 28th pick they drafted forward Matvei Gridin who played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The other eight picks include Andrew Basha, Jacob Battaglia, Henry Mews, Kirill Zarubin, Trevor Hoskin, Luke Misa, Hunter Laing, and Eric Jamieson. Basha and Jamieson are both hometown players. 

Development camp was held over four days, July 3-7, with three days dedicated to on ice work. This was Flames fans first look at some of the 2024 draftees. From the moment his name was called, fans were excited to welcome Parekh to Calgary and many showed up to camp in support. 

Courtesy of Emma Dowsett

A total of 38 players were named to attend camp, including nine of this year's draftees and all of last years; lots of Flames draft picks as well as some invites, including Isa Parekh who is the older brother of Zayne. Isa received his development camp invite the morning of the draft, before his brother was made a member of the organization. 

Some breakout players from camp included William Strӧmgren, a current Wranglers player who shined during the scrimmage, and Hunter Brzustewicz who was acquired by the Flames in the Elias Lindholm trade from Vancouver in January of 2024. Coronato looked good and Étienne Morin caught the eye of many in the stands. A future d-pairing of Morin and Zayne Parekh could be something very exciting for Flames fans to look forward to. 

Samuel Honzek, a 2023 first round pick, spoke to media after an on ice session about his relationship with current Flames player Martin Pospisil. “He’s been helping me a lot.” The two train together during the off season back home in Slovakia. “He’s pushing me forward and I’m really grateful for that.”

When speaking with media, Parekh was asked about his brother being in Calgary with him and experiencing this with each other. “It kind of hit me an hour after I got drafted that I’d be going with him to development camp and I thought it was awesome.” The two were roommates during camp and were very verbal about how proud and supportive of each other they are. 

Parekh was noted as a great offensive defenseman and a good skater prior to the draft and that is something he is continuing to work on. “I’m looking to turn good things into great things.”

A common question prospects and draftees get asked is who they model their game after and Flames fans just keep adding to their list of reasons to like Parekh with this answer. “Obviously Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. I know you guys probably might not like Foxy (Adam Fox) but he thinks the games at a super high level.” This got a good laugh out of members of the media. “But with Quinn and Cale, I mean deception kings - I’m looking to get to where they are in terms of skating.”

Courtesy of Emma Dowsett

Parekh, Gridin, and Morin all signed entry level contracts with the Flames on July 5th. While it is unclear as of now where a lot of these players will be playing come October, the hope and expectation for players such as Honzek, Jaden Lipinski, Morin, and Brzustewicz is to be playing with the Wranglers. Coronato will be looking for some more opportunities at the NHL level and Stromgren will look to make his NHL debut. 

The understanding that this season may not be amazing for the Flames from a record stand point is there among fans, but the excitement of watching this prospect pool grow and develop is definitely there and is something to look forward to.  

Edited by Giana Robertaccio

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