Maturity comes naturally to young prospect

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

CAMROSE -- It's hard to believe John Negrin is only 19 years old.

The Calgary Flames prospect doesn't play like a youngster.

He doesn't sound like your typical junior player, either.

Maturity -- on and off the ice -- is the first word that comes to mind when talking to, or about, the Kootenay Ice defenceman.

"John's got a lot of poise in his game. I think his demeanour, when you get to know him and talk to him a little bit, you can see where his game reflects his personality -- he's very calm, he's pretty confident," associate coach Jim Playfair said of Negrin after his Flames earned a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks prospects at the Edgemont Centre's Encana Arena.

"I think sometimes putting an age, putting a number there doesn't do it justice. He's a nice player."

In addition to his solid play in his own end, the 6-ft.-3 redhead set up the first goal 30 seconds into the game, making a couple of nifty moves to make his way into the slot before dishing last-second to John Armstrong at the far side of the crease for the easy finish.

"Well, I'm not much of a goal-scorer, so I'm always looking for that open guy. I only scored one goal last year," Negrin, who earned 41 assists with the Ice last season, said with a grin.

"That's one of my plays, to look for the guy back- door."

Greg Nemisz, Lance Bouma, Adam Cracknell, Aki Seitsonen and Mikael Backlund added the other Flames goals.

Michael Grabner netted two and Oren Eizenman got a single for the Canucks.

Goaltender Leland Irving was pulled after the first period, but Playfair said the Flames prospect wasn't hurt and the team was sticking to a plan that was supposed to include injured netminder Kevin Lalande.


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