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RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

Of the 30 players at Calgary Flames prospects camp, five are first-round draft choices.

The bulk of those who have been skating in the Saddledome were drafted by the NHL club. A pair were free-agent signings -- defencemen Brad Cole and Ryan Wilson -- and one, Kyle Greentree, was acquired by trade.

Then there is Chris Bruton, the lone undrafted, unsigned free agent.

"I guess I'm black horse, you could say," Bruton said. "Darryl (Sutter) called me a week before and I couldn't have been more excited."

You may not recognize Bruton's name, but you've seen him.

The Calgary product was captain of this year's WHL and Memorial Cup champion Spokane Chiefs.

Yeah, he's the guy you've seen on the sports bloopers or on You Tube who had the Memorial Cup come apart in his hands.

"It's something I'll live with forever, but I had to win the Cup to get that moment," said Bruton, 21. "I'm all right with that.

"When people look at the Memorial Cup, they're going to remember first that it crashed on the ice and was one of the funniest moments in hockey, but second will be that we won it.

"As long as people remember we won it, that's all that matters ... There's a picture where it's in two pieces but all our hands are on part of it, and we couldn't have been more proud of it."

Bruton was a big part of that championship, as well as the WHL title the Chiefs steamrolled to. Offensively, he had a breakout year with 26 goals and 37 assists in 67 regular- season games. He added three goals and seven helpers in 21 WHL playoff contests, but his calling card is grit, leadership and character.

Which made going through some a couple lean years in Spokane worth it.

"That definitely brought character to my game, learning to play a role, doing whatever it takes to win, being unselfish, having a team mentality," said Bruton, a 5-ft.-11, 190-lb. centre. "I think those hard years let me learn those lessons, and I think this year I was able to bring it all together and step up for the team."

Bruton worked his way up the minor hockey ranks in the Calgary Royals program and was a die-hard Flames fan -- he calls Gary Roberts his first idol and now wears No. 12 because of Jarome Iginla -- so playing for the Flames would be a dream come true.

At this point, however, he's not sure what the future holds. The Flames have signed a handful of players after free-agent invites -- such as defenceman Mark Giordano -- so that possibility exists.

Bruton is just concentrating on learning as much as he can from this week's camp and carrying it further into his career, wherever that takes him.

"I'll go through camp and ask them about it," he said about what he needs to improve upon to play at the pro level. "It's a learning experience going through this camp -- the skill is that much better and the speed is that much faster, training."

ICE CHIPS

Flames prospects Keith Aulie and recent first-round draft pick Greg Nemisz leave this morning for the Canadian national junior team's development camp in Ottawa


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