NHL Development Camp Notes (Western Canada)

Jul 6, 2023

Some news and highlights of the development camps of the Western Canadian franchises. Fans will watch with bated breath.  Have the Oilers finally found a player they can develop into a quality NHL forward? Have the Jets gotten themselves a steal? Will the Flames camp be the starting point for their return to relevance? Have the Canucks found their man on defense? 


Winnipeg Jets 


The Winnipeg Jets invited 27 players to this year’s edition of the Development camp 


One of the main storylines at development camp is to assess 2021 first round pick Chaz Lucius, and whether he has returned to health. The 20-year-old has suffered a string of injuries and will need a full season to help his development 


The other story line will be to see how 2023 first round pick Colby Barlow fares at camp. The Jets got incredible value when they selected Barlow at 18th overall, and the physically mature 18-year-old may be ready to make the leap to the Jets lineup this year. But it all starts at camp. 


Calgary Flames 


The Calgary Flames have invited 38 players to camp: 5 goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 21 forwards. Defenseman Jeremie Poirier will be at camp, but not participate in on-ice sessions. 


Some Flames draft picks are not slated to attend camp at this time. Aydar Suniev, Yegor Yegorov (KHL camp) and Axel Hurtig (shoulder procedure). 


Edmonton Oilers 


The Edmonton Oilers have 29 invitees attending Development camp this summer.  



Unlike other NHL camps, the Oilers have their prospects play a 3-on-3 tournament. The standout at camp so far, especially in the tournament has been Xavier Bourgault. The first-round draft pick is the Oilers best hope at adding depth scoring on the wing in their system.  



Vancouver Canucks 


The 40-man Development camp Roster 


The Canucks overhauled their Player Development department. Assistant general manager Cammi Granato was brought in to oversee development because they have begun to prioritize that department since Rutherford’s arrival as GM.  


The development staff weren’t the only coaches on the ice. Guest skating coach Allie LaCombe led position-specific skating drills with a detailed teaching style. 



The multiple coaches on the ice provide a good mix of group teaching and one-on-one attention. In each practice, the coaches could be seen taking players aside to provide more detail or reinforce a concept and give constructive feedback. The highlight for many fans was getting to see their 2023 first round selection, Tom Willander first hand this week. The hope is that he can harness his size, speed, and vision that made him standout at camp compared to the other defensemen in attendance.  

Blain Potvin

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