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Pelletier in position to make Flames roster

Jakob Pelletier knows one thing for certain: He will be playing hockey in Calgary this season.

However, whether that’s in the NHL for the Calgary Flames or their recently relocated American Hockey League affiliate will be determined during training camp in September.

“My dream and my first goal is to play in the NHL,” the 21-year-old forward said after the Flames development camp last month. “I think I’m going to do everything in my power to do so. Right now, the focus is to have a great offseason, to arrive in September being more powerful, and to arrive at camp and have a solid camp. The first goal is to play in the NHL. I haven’t reached that goal. For me, I’m going to do everything in my power … and if it takes two training [sessions] a day, that’s what I’m going to do.”

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Selected by Calgary with the No. 26 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Pelletier (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) is well on his way.

He was a standout with Stockton of the AHL last season, finishing third among rookies with 62 points (27 goals, 35 assists) in 66 regular-season games. He was also fourth on Stockton with seven points (four goals, three assists) in 13 playoff games.

“He’s a ball of energy,” Stockton goalie Dustin Wolf said. “He’s awesome. He makes life at the rink incredibly fun. He’s never upset at anything. Not only is he an incredible player, but he’s a guy in the room you want. He’s a special player. I feel like he’s pretty much got it.” all. He stepped in, and to put up the points he did was awesome.

“He’s going to be with the Flames sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t put it past him to make the team this year.”

Pelletier has positioned himself well to make that happen.

“That’s the next step for him,” Calgary development coach Ray Edwards said. “He’s got to come in and force people to make tough decisions. Simple as that. We’ve talked to him about that already, and he understands the job the next few months brings to him. His mental focus is to come in and make people make tough decisions.”

Pelletier said he is ready for that challenge and that his experience from last season will help him this time around.

“I think first of all I came into camp in September, and I didn’t feel like I played my type of game and I didn’t feel like I did enough to prove that I could play pro,” Pelletier said. “I think when they cut me it kind of boosted me forward.

“I think last year I was kind of nervous, to be honest. If I played my type of game, if I’m good on the forecheck and good with my stick, I think I can put some chance on my side.

“I’ve just got to play simple and hard, and we’ll see what happens.”