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.”
Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.
Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.
So far, it shows, too.
The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.
There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:
Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week
Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.
WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry
A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.
As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.
While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.
Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.
It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.