SUN Hockey Pool

GM hopes Moss cleans up

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

The name David Moss doesn't mean much to the casual fan but Calgary Flames diehards who kept an eye on developments in Omaha last season have high hopes for the 22-year-old forward.

They include Flames GM Darryl Sutter, who named Moss one of three young prospects -- along with Andrei Taratukhin and Dustin Boyd -- he expects to push veterans for roster spots over the next few weeks.

That's high praise from a man who doesn't randomly toss out compliments. Especially when you consider Moss was drafted in the seventh round, 220th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and has been somewhat overshadowed by NCAA teammate Eric Nystrom, who was selected by the Flames in the first round the following year.

"We're good buddies," Moss said of Nystrom as camp officially opened with the prospects' fitness testing at the Saddledome.

"He's always been very complimentary of me and my game. He's always had a lot of confidence in me and I have a lot in him."

Moss displayed a knack for scoring in his rookie season with the AHL Omaha Knights. The 6-ft. 3-in., 203-lb. Dearborn, Mich., product netted 21 goals and 48 points in 63 games to claim the title of best offensive freshman on the squad while evolving into a top centre despite being drafted as a left-winger.

His surprising output was second most among Knights forwards and third best on the team. All that despite what Moss considers a slow start to his pro career.

"Coming into Omaha and where I was at the end was a big improvement," said Moss, who had a difficult time adapting to the more gruelling schedule after his jump from college to the American Hockey League.

"Working on my skating and strength has continued to help me find a level on the ice that I've never had before. Adjusting to the pro game was a little tough at first."

His impressive numbers may have been even moreso had he not suffered a second-degree tear of the MCL in his left knee and missed the final 15 games of the AHL season.

"The knee felt good in the testing this year," said Moss. "I'm ready to get on the ice."


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