Pelech has toured Ontario junior loop

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

Matt Pelech is 6 ft. 3 in., 222 lb.

But having been flipped from team to team to team in the last few months, you can excuse him for feeling small as a trading card.

Pelech, the hulking defenceman drafted 26th overall by the Calgary Flames in 2005, began last season with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. In December, he was dealt to London, a team looking to win another league championship. Last month, he was traded to the Belleville Bulls.

"I didn't see it coming at all," said Pelech, in Calgary all week for the Flames prospects camp that winds up today. "But after I looked at it, it made sense because London was rebuilding and really needed some draft picks and Belleville's gonna be strong."

One might wonder if an attitude problem is the cause for so much movement.

But consider what the Bulls -- who see themselves as a Memorial Cup contender -- surrendered for Pelech. .

They gave the Knights a 15th-round OHL draft pick to start and, as soon as Pelech plays one game for Belleville, the Knights will receive second- and fourth-round picks in 2007 and third- and fifth-round selections in 2008.

Pelech has already said he'll play for Belleville, a good bet since he's certainly not ready for the NHL and is too young -- he'll turn 19 Sept. 4 -- to play in the AHL.

"I didn't think I was traded away because London was disappointed with me. When London phoned me after, they said, 'We didn't want to trade you but Belleville just kept offering more.' I think Belleville really sees me as a big part of their team next year."

Before going to the Bulls, however, the Toronto product will ready himself for his second NHL camp.

"Hopefully, I won't be as nervous as last year," he said. "Hopefully the puck won't be a grenade as soon as it hits my stick. I'm just looking to try my best. That's all you can do."

Off the ice, he's using a different training plan, working more on leg and abdominal strength to increase his foot speed and less on upper body. In fact, he's been told not to do any bench presses.

"I was a little top heavy," he said. "I haven't really been doing much upper body this year, just trying to get my legs a lot stronger and core a lot stronger because that's what was kinda missing last year."

The camp concludes today with a four-on-four scrimmage at 1:30 p.m. at the Don Hartman Northeast Sportsplex.

YESTERDAY'S MOVES: The Oilers signed forward Jarret Stoll to a $4.4-million US, two-year contract ... The Sabres re-signed defenceman Henrik Tallinder ... Sidney Crosby's linemate will be back in Pittsburgh after Colby Armstrong agreed to a new one-year contract worth $816,953 ... Forward Jordin Tootoo agreed to a $1.2-million, two-year deal with the Predators ... The Blue Jackets signed d-man Jamie Pushor to a two-way contract ... The Bruins signed defenceman Wade Brookbank ... The Washington Capitals inked Ben Clymer.


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