by Miranda Baker || CalgaryFlames.com
Dustin Boyd is on the path to the big leagues. The 21-year-old forward has attended numerous Calgary Flames development camps since being drafted in 2004, and was called up four times by the club during the 2006-07 season.
Boyd’s time spent in Calgary gave the native of Winnipeg, Man., a taste of what life could be like playing at the NHL level, but now he wants more.
"I feel that the whole goal this summer is to get stronger and work on my game," said Boyd, who celebrated his 21st birthday Monday. "So when training camp comes I’m in top shape, and I can push for a roster spot and make the Flames full-time."
In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Boyd was testing the waters and making a name for himself as a Flames’ prospect that has huge offensive potential in the NHL. In 13 games with Calgary, Boyd registered four points, including two goals and two assists.
His first NHL goal was also the team’s game winner leading to a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Jan. 6, 2007.
But Boyd’s overall success with the club doesn’t mean he’s ready to make the switch from the American Hockey League to the National Hockey League. Not just yet that is.
According to Boyd, fine tuning his skills is on the top of his ‘to do’ list and will be his focus this summer.
"My speed, my skating, my shooting are all things I want to work on, and to develop a quicker release," added Boyd. "Those are all tools I need to sharpen my game."
Then again, Boyd made the jump from playing with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League to suiting up for the Flames’ farm team in Omaha last season with ease.
But don’t think Boyd didn’t have to work hard to make things happen with the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights of the AHL.
"It was definitely a lot tougher," said Boyd. "The guys are a lot older, more mature, stronger and faster. But the travel is about the same as the Western League."
In 66 games with Omaha last season, Boyd recorded 27 goals and 33 assists for a total of 60 points. In six playoff games with the Knights, he tallied two points (1g, 1a). And he represented the Calgary organization at the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.
Boyd’s best year in the WHL came with the Warriors in 2005-06 when he recorded 48 goals and 42 assists in just 64 games.
The Calgary Flames development camp runs thru Saturday, July 21st at the Don Hartman North East Sportsplex. All on-ice sessions are open to the public.
"I want to go out there and show them (Flames’ coaching staff) what I can do, what kind of player I am and what I can contribute to the team," said Boyd.
"So it’s good to get here and really get the ball rolling."