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Flames invite top draft prospects to Calgary

NHL Combine

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 31: Prospect Aaron Ekblad performs a test during the NHL Combine May 31, 2014 at the International Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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The Calgary Flames are prepping for the NHL Draft, equipped right now with the fourth overall selection.

So, why not bring in a few of those top prospects - including Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart, the top three North American skaters based on NHL Central Scouting’s rankings - who might have their named called by Flames management on June 27 into Calgary for a visit. You know, get to see the place.

“We’ve seen players at other times, too,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving told the Calgary Herald.

“A lot of it is scheduling . . . for a lot of these kids, it’s a busy time for them. They have commitments. In some cases, school . . . we spent time with other players, too, whether it be at their homes leading up to the draft.

“Really, in a lot of cases, it’s selfishly for me to scout them. I’ve talked to a lot of these kids. I get 10, 15-minutes that they’re scheduled (at the NHL combine). For me, it’s getting a little more time in not such a rushed environment, just to chat and learn more about them.”

Last year at the draft, the Flames selected center Sean Monahan with the sixth overall pick. He made the team last year, scoring 22 goals and 34 points as a 19-year-old rookie in the league.

It provides at least a little optimism for Flames fans after some down years.

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