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.”