View Full Version : Dubnyk

09-24-2005, 07:25 AM
By STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA (edmontonsun.com)

CALGARY -- A year and a half ago, Calgarian Devan Dubnyk was cheering on the Flames as they plodded through the playoffs.

The Kamloops Blazers goaltender wouldn't be called up to the podium at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft for another month and thought of nothing but the Red and White winning the Stanley Cup for the Stampede City.

Last night, he came face-to-face with his hometown heroes - from the wrong side of the Battle of Alberta.

"I was a diehard fan cheering these guys to the Stanley Cup final," said the 19-year-old Oilers prospect yesterday before suiting up in a backup role for a pre-season tilt at the Saddledome. "I certainly didn't expect that I might be facing off against these guys a year and a half later. It's pretty special and something I'm sure I won't forget anytime soon."

Edmonton selected Dubnyk with their first pick, 14th overall in 2004. While the former Flames fan didn't get to join his favourite team in the pros, staying in his home province isn't a bad consolation prize. Besides, he's already comfortable using the visitors locker-room at the Saddledome when his WHL Blazers visit Calgary to take on the Hitmen.

It isn't often a junior-aged goaltender sticks with the big club this deep into training camp but the six-foot-five, 195-pounder has been playing well and earned himself a shot at playing in front of his friends and family here in Calgary.

"The plan is for me to go ... back to Kamloops for the start of the season," said Dubnyk, who will be between the pipes for tonight's Blazers home opener. "It's a little more important to have Ty ready for the season than to get me half a game."

Missing a shootout against Flames like Jarome Iginla and Tony Amonte isn't something the young netminder will lose sleep over just yet. He's already learned so much.

"I played half a game in Dallas. I'm just going to try to take it all in and learn from it," said Dubnyk. "It's been a one-of-a-kind experience for me.

"It's been a heck of a ride and I've really enjoyed it. I think this will be a nice way to finish it off tonight."