“A dream come true” for Abbotsford Heat’s Lance Boum
By Cam Tucker, Abbotsford Times
Growing up a young boy in the small Alberta town of Provost, Lance Bouma was geographically split between Calgary and Edmonton.
His hockey allegiances, however, fell to Edmonton; the City of Champions, and home of the Oilers.
Born in 1990, Bouma wasn’t even three months old when the Oilers won their last Stanley Cup. The dynasty produced by the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and a host of others was just coming to an end.
Cheering for the Oilers also meant Bouma loathed the Calgary Flames.
The irony was not lost on the Abbotsford Heat rookie forward Thursday when he was recalled by those same Flames, the team that drafted Bouma in the third round of the 2008 NHL entry draft.
It seems sacrilegious in the hockey world for someone to jump ship between rivals, especially given the seemingly timeless feud between Calgary and Edmonton, better known as the Battle of Alberta.
But in this case, that’s what happened.
“That mostly changed when I got drafted by the Flames,” said the 20-year-old Bouma with a chuckle.
And now that he is with the Flames – he was expected to join his new teammates in Calgary today – that’s sure to have changed for good.
The former Vancouver Giant captain said he anticipates drawing into the Flames lineup Saturday night – on Hockey Night in Canada – against the Los Angeles Kings.
Not a bad way to start an NHL career.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said.
“It’s something you work towards your whole career is to be able to play in the National Hockey League and I’m very excited and looking to forward to the opportunity.”
Bouma openly admitted that with family making the trek south to the Pengrowth Saddledome for his NHL debut, nerves will be an instinctive reaction.
“Obviously anyone’s going to be nervous in that situation, but really at the same time I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“I can’t wait for the chance to get out there and just play.”
It seems simple.
After all, that’s what Bouma’s game is all about.
His offensive numbers, even dating back to his junior days, don’t jump out like with other prospects.
Prior to being recalled, Bouma had scored 11 goals in 49 games with the AHL heat and was on pace for his highest goal total since he joined the Giants in 2005.
He scored 14 in the 2009-2010 season, his last as a junior.
Flash just isn’t a word you’ll find in Bouma’s vernacular. Of his 11 goals down on the farm, the vast majority have come from within a few feet of the net – rebounds, scrambles, and wraparounds.
Perhaps lacking a pure offensive touch, Bouma’s game revolves around diving feat (and once with his head) first to block shots. He hits, he fights. He is blue collar by definition.
No sense changing that now.
“When I talked to Jay Feaster, he told me to just come in and create energy and be responsible, and give us a lot of good minutes out there,” Bouma said of his conversation with the Flames acting general manager when he got The Call.
And that’s exactly what Heat head coach Jim Playfair predicts Bouma will bring to the Flames.
“I think it’s good for him,” said Playfair.
“That's what Jay Feaster wanted to do, create a lot of energy up there. [Bouma] will bring a lot of energy up there. He'll work hard for them.”
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