Suffolk native Ross Johnston is taking part in Calgary’s annual development camp this week
© TC Media photo
Ross Johnston is shown in action with the Summerside Western Capitals.
Ross Johnston is living out a dream this week in Calgary.
The 18-year-old left-winger is participating in the Calgary Flames annual development camp.
The Suffolk native was not selected in June’s entry draft but received a call about an hour following the proceedings to see if he was interested in attending the camp.
“I didn’t expect to go (in the draft), so when I got the call it was really a big surprise,” Johnston said Monday.
He arrived in Calgary Sunday, took part in fitness tests Monday morning and was scheduled to be on the ice in the afternoon.
“I always dream of it,” he said of attending a NHL team’s development camp.
“I never actually thought it was a possibility. Now being here, it kind of seems pretty surreal.”
The camp will include the Flames’ top prospects and other invited young players.
Johnston started last season with the Summerside Western Capitals.
He tallied 12 goals and 17 assists in 23 games in the junior A circuit before joining the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats.
He had two goals and five assists for Moncton.
“When I went up with Moncton in December (coach) Danny Flynn gave me as much opportunity as he could,” Johnston said. “It helped me get noticed.”
Johnston said he was going to play his physical style of game and do whatever the Flames’ officials asked of him during the camp, which runs until Friday morning.
He plans on being back with Moncton this coming season with training camp starting Aug. 15.
Johnston has been skating and training with other NHL hopefuls at Andrews Hockey and Andrews Sport Conditioning to prepare for the camp.
Other Andrews athletes who have attended or will attend NHL development camps this summer include Brent Andrews (Nashville Predators), Cameron Critchlow (Edmonton Oilers), Mark Guggenberger (Buffalo Sabres), as well as Peter Trainor, who attended the draft combine of the Montreal Canadiens.
“We are extremely pleased that our athletes are getting these opportunities,” said Andrews Sport conditioning director Kris MacPhee. “These young players have trained very hard and I expect them to show very well at the development camps.”
Andrews and Critchlow were big contributors in a Quebec league playoff run with the Halifax Mooseheads while Guggenberger was a top goalie for the Texas Brahmas of the Central Hockey League.
Trainor is coming off a tremendous rookie season with the Rimouski Oceanic where he scored 29 goals.