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Calgary Flames prospects hopeful ahead of Penticton Young Stars Classic

Matt Coronato and Sam Honzek are expected to be a big part of the Calgary Flames' future.

Coronato was the Flames' first-round draft pick, 13th overall in the 2021 NHL entry draft, and got his first taste of the NHL last season. 

The 20 year old got into one game with the Flames and he says that experience has left him wanting more.

"That’s what I want to do," Coronato said.

"All I can do is play my hardest and work my hardest, but that’s definitely my goal, and I’m excited to get it started here."


Coronato gained more experience after the NHL season was over when he played for the United States at the World Hockey Championships.

Coronato says he feels stronger than he used to, and has worked hard to improve his skating in the off-season.  

He knows getting on the ice ahead of the veterans and playing in the Young Stars Classic is important.

"It starts today with that skate (at Winsport). Every day is so important and every day you’ve got to prove yourself. Like I said, I’m really excited for Friday (the start of the tournament) but today is a start."


Honzek was the Flames' first-round pick, 16th overall, at this year's NHL entry draft. 

He’s likely headed to Vancouver this season to play for the Giants, but Honzek says he’ll do all he can to make the Flames.

"My expectations are to have a good tournament and to show why I was a first-round pick, and improve myself and develop, whether I’m here or in Vancouver, I just want to get better."


Flames General Manager Craig Conroy has made it clear there will be opportunities for younger players to earn a spot with the big club.

Trent Cull is the Calgary Wranglers new head coach and will lead the young stars in Penticton.

He says this tournament is important and an opportunity to make a good impression.

"I think if they have a great weekend in Penticton, then they’re going to open the eyes of coach (ryan) Huska and manager Conroy, and from there they’ll come back into main camp.

"It’s a proving ground for the next two or three weeks. you’ve got to make sure you keep building on your game. I think they know that there’s opportunity for them if they do that."

The Flames open up the Young Stars Classic on Friday night against the Canucks. 

They’ll face off against the Oilers on Saturday night and then wrap up the tournament with a game against the Jets on Monday afternoon. Top Stories

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