Flames' Joe Colborne a 'pleasant surprise'

Flames' Joe Colborne (left) scores in the third period past Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky...

Flames' Joe Colborne (left) scores in the third period past Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky during NHL action against the Blue Jackets in Calgary on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency)

DANIEL AUSTIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:13 AM ET

CALGARY - Joe Colborne’s always had the tools to make an impact.

But so far in his young career, the Calgary Flames’ centre hasn’t quite been able to put it all together and lock down a spot on an NHL roster.

A couple of strong performances in the past week have offered hope that — finally — Colborne may have gotten over the hump.

“He’s made some very big steps,” said Flames head coach Bob Hartley of the Calgary product. “If, after 20-some games, you’re asking me to rate him, he’s a very pleasant surprise for us.”

Colborne may never develop into the offensive force some projected him to be when he was picked 16th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins.

But strong showings against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Florida Panthers last week suggest the Flames may have hit the jackpot when they acquired him from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick right before the start of the season.


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