When the Flames took Sean Monahan sixth overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, they figured they drafting for the future.
Turns out they might’ve been drafting for the present.
Monahan, 18, has impressed head coach Bob Hartley throughout training camp and preseason games, leading Hartley to suggest Monahan is factoring into Calgary’s plans for this season.
“For such a young centreman, I think he’s adapting real well to NHL hockey,” Hartley told the Calgary Herald. “He still has things to learn which is perfectly normal for any kids that age.
“He doesn’t get rattled. He’s very poised. We have big plans for this young man.”
Monahan has a lot going for him at the moment.
At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he’s got the size to play in the NHL straight away. He’s also got relatively light competition at the center position, as Calgary may be the league’s weakest club down the middle (Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan, T.J. Galiardi, Max Reinhart and Corban Knight.)
Monahan’s also playing extremely well at the moment. He scored twice in a 4-2 win over the Islanders on Tuesday, putting pressure on Hartley and Flames GM Jay Feaster to keep Monahan from going back to OHL Ottawa.
“There are some kids that put money in the bank tonight,” Hartley said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take them, but some kids were really impressive.”
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.