(courtesy Calgary Flames)
The Calgary Flames announced today that they have assigned forward Michael Ferland to the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.
"We have very high expectations for Michael, and value the power forward traits that he brings to our organization,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “It was important to us to have him in training camp, give him some exposure to a pro hockey environment, and get a read on his development. Based on the depth of our team in Abbotsford, and the limited game minutes that Michael is currently able to get there, we felt that it would be in the best interest of his development to return to the WHL, where he can get the minutes that we want him to have, and continue to grow his skill and confidence. We continue to be bullish on Michael’s potential, and look forward to his contributions to the Flames in the future."
Ferland, a native of Brandon MB, played seven games this season with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL and three games with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. The 6’1’, 190lbs left winger was drafted by Calgary in the 5th round (133rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Ferland, who played three years with the Wheat Kings, recorded 47 goals and 49 assists for 96 points last season.
Now, the question is, how long will he be back.
From a strict return standpoint, Ferland could bring a decent return on the trade market prior to the January 10th deadline and at least two contending teams, Kamloops and Edmonton, do not have a full contingent of 20-year old players.
Brandon has 14 days to get down to the WHL limit of three 20-year olds.
Let the rumour mill begin!!