SUN Hockey Pool

Nemo grows into role

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

OTTAWA -- If the kid can progress as much in the pros as he did in the Ontario Hockey League, the Calgary Flames got a real find in Nemo.

Greg Nemisz, whose nicknamed after that colourful Pixar Films fish, heard his name called 25th overall last night in the NHL draft when the Flames finally stepped up to the podium.

The Windsor Spitfires centre had a rough rookie year in the OHL as an underdeveloped 16-year-old, but the 6-ft.-3, 197-pounder grew into his role as a sophomore and nearly doubled his point total -- scoring 34 goals and 67 points in 68 games last year.

He turned 18 earlier this month, and now projects as a future power forward on the Flames roster.

Nemisz said as much on live TV, with Flames general manager Darryl Sutter sitting to his left, and the GM backed him up.

"Down the road, he'll be exactly what he said he'd be -- a power forward," Sutter said on TSN.

He knows he's got some filling out to do, but Nemisz says he's working hard to make that transition a smooth one in the future.

"I think it's just maturing. Especially this summer," he said. "It's a huge summer for my development. I'm working hard to get bigger and more physical. It's what I need to do to get to the next level."

Sutter and his scouting staff are confident he will be a good player in the big league one day.

"We didn't think he'd fall to that point, so we were glad to get him," said Sutter. "He's a big kid and he's got good hands, and protects the puck well, and he can score goals -- he's just got to grow into it."

The Flames saw a lot of him over the past couple of years while scouting 2007 fifth-round pick Mickey Renaud, who was the Spitfires' captain.

Renaud passed away this year. Being drafted by the same team was a thought not lost on Nemisz.

"It's definitely special," he said. "You learn so many things going through that. I'll probably stop and reflect on it later. He'll definitely go through my mind a little more."

Nemisz has never been to Calgary, but is coming this weekend for the ring ceremony there for winning gold with the U-18 world juniors in Russia last month.

His parents actually lived in the city for a while, and his younger brother, Garrett, was born in Cowtown.

"To get drafted to a team like Calgary, you can't be any happier than that," said Nemisz.


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