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Monahan ready to make an impact in Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

NEWARK, NJ -- Sean Monahan had an inkling.

Turns out the Ottawa 67s captain was correct.

After two interviews with the team, the top pick of the Calgary Flames at the 2013 NHL Draft had a sneaking suspicion he'd be pulling on a jersey adorned with the 'Flaming C' Sunday in Newark.

"They went really well," said Monahan, who was plucked by the Flames sixth overall. "They were smooth and I was just being myself. That's what I try to do in my interviews and I thought I left a good impression there in Calgary."

Still, that doesn't mean he was prepared for the wave of emotion that hit him when he was called to the stage.

"It was crazy," Monahan said. "I heard my name called. I still hadn't realized I was actually picked. I stood up. It was hard to think. It sunk in when I hit the stage and it was the best feeling in the world.

"You think you know what it's going to feel like but it's nothing like that. It's the best feeling in the world to be drafted to the Flames. It's a big honor for me."

Perhaps the only one that can compete with it will be his first NHL game, which the 18-year-old hopes comes in October.

After spending his junior career with the Ottawa 67s, the first rounder is expecting to contribute in Calgary sooner rather than later.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It's going to be a challenge and I'm always up for a challenge. I'm going to be a bit part of that team and help that team win. It's going to be fun. I've worked hard this summer and I'm going to continue to do that. I want to make the jump next year and I'm ready to do that."

After spending 185 games spread over three seasons with the 67s that saw the 6-foot-2 pivot produce 84 goals and 203 points, Monahan feels he's ready to have an immediate impact in the National Hockey League.

"I want to play, that's my goal," he said. "I want to play this year and be an impact player and a reliable player, too. I want to compete and be an impact next year."

Monahan knows what it's like to spend time on a rebuilding squad. His team in Ottawa had an Ontario Hockey League-low 38 points just two years removed from his rookie season when the team finished second in the Eastern Conference.

Going through a rebuild at the junior level has prepared the centre for a rebuild in Calgary.

"Obviously it was a tough year this year and I went through a lot of adversity," he said. "Being the captain of that team, I learned a lot and that's really going to benefit me in Calgary next year."

Now a franchise cornerstone in Calgary, little doubt remains in Monahan about being ready to help the team turn a corner.

"I am," he declared.

He had an idea that the Flames were going to pick him.

Now Monahan hopes he can carry Calgary higher.

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