Atley Calvert will have the opportunity to test himself against the pros over the next week.
The Moose Jaw Warriors forward, and Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product, is heading to Buffalo to take part in the 2022 Prospects Challenge with the Sabres, starting on Thursday.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity,” Calvert said. “I like to think I worked for this my whole life and obviously, it’s one step in the right direction.”
The Prospects Challenge kicks off this week at @Harborctr!— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) September 12, 2022
See ya there. 🏒
Calvert wasn’t drafted into the Western Hockey League and was passed over this summer in the 2022 NHL Draft, but now he will get a chance to prove that he belongs at that level.
“Every kid wants to play in the NHL, so to take a step in the right direction and get your feet wet at a rookie tournament, it’s going to be a blast,” he said.
The 18-year-old forward said he’s heading there to play his game.
“I don’t want to think about it too much or else you lose focus on what you’re doing, so I just want to go out there and have fun, try and soak up as much information as I can and just play my own game,” Calvert said.
Going into his fourth season with the Warriors, Calvert has turned into a key player with his hometown club.
He put up 15 goals and 40 points in 65 games last season, which was all career-highs. He also played a key defensive role for the team and added three goals and seven points in 10 playoff games.
Calvert said he worked hard over the summer to continue improving his game with this opportunity with the Sabres as the driving force.
“I’m preparing for the season, but at the same time, also preparing to go to this camp, I think they go hand-in-hand,” he said. “It definitely gave me something to work towards, there were a couple of goals to work towards.”
Calvert added that he’s hoping to come away from the camp a better player, which in turn will help him and the Warriors this season.
“I’ll definitely learn some things and bring some things back here,” he said.
“We have a lot of other guys going to camps too, so when we all go through our camps and then come back, it’s going to be a really good year.”
The six-team Prospects Challenge opens on Thursday in Buffalo.