Warroad star a Flames hopeful

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

CALGARY -- Texas has its high school football, a la Friday Night Lights.

Indiana has its basketball, Hoosiers.

Aaron Marvin has lived the high school hockey version of that world.

Marvin, the Calgary Flames third-round draft choice from 2006, hails from Warroad, Minn., about 200 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg. Warroad was called Hockeytown, U.S.A. long before the Detroit Red Wings came up with that phrase as a marketing slogan.

He was a big part of Warroad high school's last Division A state championship team in 2005.

Hockey in his hometown -- 10 km south of the Canadian border on Lake of the Woods, where Ontario, Manitoba and Minnesota converge -- goes beyond fun and games.

It's an event, as is the case for all northern Minnesota.

"If we're playing Roseau, the whole town shuts down," said Marvin, 20. "And if we're in Roseau, nobody is in Warroad."

Warroad, with a population of around 1,700, is where former NHLer Henry Boucha -- regarded as one of the state's great high school players of all time -- hails from.

It's where the Christian family began making their names.

Marvin, who heads into his sophomore season at St. Cloud State, is part of that history.

And now, is trying to make a name for himself at the next level.

Attending the Flames prospect camp this week, Marvin is something of an unknown among the team's prospects.

Marvin may have been a highly touted high schooler, but both he and the Flames will admit he's a project to make the NHL ranks. His size and competitiveness are great attributes.

His skating is the focus.

Twice a week, he's been making the one-hour drive to work with Barry Karn, the former Flames skating coach now hired by the St. Louis Blues.

Marvin can see the benefits of that extra work.

"Right now, I feel a lot better than I was last year," he explained. "I was always a pretty choppy skater and I'm trying to smooth it out a bit and get a longer stride."

Marvin hopes to continue improving, all in the quest to become the latest product of Warroad to make the NHL.


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