Carter Bancks remains in the system with the Calgary Flames, signing a one-year contract last week with the Abbotsford Heat right before he gets down to business at training camp with his NHL parent club.
Bancks, who will be entering his fifth season with the team, is ready—and healthy—and wants to show the Flames he can play at the highest level after getting called up for two NHL games last year.
“I’m excited, we got camp starting on the 10th of September and I’m just going to try and show up there and have the best camp I can,” said Bancks, “and then head down to Abbotsford—try to stay in Calgary as long as I can, but there’s things I need to work on and I know I need to be in the American League and work on parts of my game and try to become an impact player down there.”
After receiving a qualifying offer early in the summer, Bancks is happy to have re-signed to stay with an organization that is familiar to him.
“It’s definitely a good comfort level heading there. You’re not walking on eggshells, you know guys a little bit and I feel it makes it a little bit easier to play,” said Bancks. “You’re not stressed about who your linemates are, you just go out and play good hockey and I’m really looking forward to camp and Calgary’s camp is going to be really hard this year.
“[Flames head coach] Hartley’s mentioned that it’s going to be really high-paced and a lot of hard work and I like the sounds of that—that fits me well, so I”m looking forward to it.”
The 24-year-old Marysville product returned home for the weekend to where it all started for him, helping his dad, Jerry Bancks, who is the head coach for the KIJHL’s Kimberley Dynamiters, assess the talent for the 2013/14 edition.
The younger Bancks spent a few games as a 15-year-old with the team, but made it on full time the following year.
“I had some of the best years of my life playing here,” said Bancks. “Played with a really good group of guys and it was just kind of back when hockey was just fun and you went out and tried to score goals, there wasn’t a huge structure, it was just guys playing that loved the game. I had a great time playing for the Dynamiters.”
After his time in the KIJHL, Bancks graduated to the WHL, playing four years with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and led the team as captain in his final season.
Bancks joked that he’s now wise enough to dish out advice that his dad will pay attention to when assessing the younger Nitros fighting for a roster spot.
“I’m finally old enough and got enough of his respect that he’s listened to me on a few things, so it’s been fun,” said Bancks, “watching and talking about some players and things you like and things you don’t like. He raised me to play the way I do, so we’re pretty bang-on on the type of players we like and the type we don’t like, so it’s funny. It’s been a lot of fun.”