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Hulking blueliner Kanzig excited for opportunity

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

It's exciting to have that opportunity with the program at the stage that the Calgary Flames are.Keegan Kanzig

NEWARK, NJ -- When you're 6-foot-7, it takes a lot to fuel your body.

That's why Keegan Kanzig can be excused from stepping away from the television to go fix himself a snack, missing the Calgary Flames calling his name in the third round, 67th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"At the time I wasn't right in front of the TV watching, I was having a snack but I got a call from my agent," said Kanzig, who had 159 penalty minutes and 15 fighting majors this season. "He called me and told me I got picked and then the house erupted because everyone who was watching the TV found out and went crazy. It was very exciting."

While the 241-pounder didn't physically get to hear his name being called, the emotion of accomplishing a goal was nonetheless exciting for the Victoria Royals rearguard.

To a team the Athabasca, AB product was pulling for, no less.

"Calgary was one of the teams that I was hoping for," said Kanzig, who chipped in seven assists this season. "I knew there was a possibility I could be drafted and I knew Calgary would be a great place to go. It's close to home and a great organization. I'm very excited right now."

Talking to a Calgary scout earlier in the season, the hulking defenseman had an inkling that the Flames could be his final destination.

He turned out to be right.

"I talked to them earlier on in the season and they expressed a little interest but it is very exciting," he said. "There's always a little surprise to find out that I'm going to a team that I really wanted to go to.

"It wasn't a total shot in the dark but it was a little bit of a surprise, but definitely exciting though."

The Flames present an intriguing option for the self-described physical blueliner.

With a franchise continually adding depth to the prospect pool and an emerging opportunity for young players to make an earlier impact, Calgary presents itself a chance to continue building towards other goals.

"It's exciting to have that opportunity with the program at the stage that the Calgary Flames are," he said. "Playing in the NHL has been a goal of mine and winning a Stanley Cup has been a goal of mine since I've been a little kid. I've been working hard towards that and I'll continue.

"This experience makes it a little more realistic about how it can be happening."

And puts Kanzig closer to taking a bite out of opposing forwards for the Flames.

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