Flames excited by Monahan future

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Calgary Flames assistant general manager Craig Conway has hailed centreman Sean Monahan as the 21-year-old stands on the verge of registering his 100th NHL point.

Monahan currently sits on 98 since he was drafted with the fourth overall pick in 2013, with goals accounting for 54 for of them.

He has been described by Flames head coach Bob Hartley as “one of the smartest young players that I’ve ever coached”, and Conway, who played over 1000 NHL games at centre himself, has warned he’s only going to get better.

“His all-around game, I mean, what can you say? As a 21-year-old, it’s pretty amazing how you feel comfortable with him on the ice in any situation, at any time,” he said.

“He’s really taken it to another level how he plays in his own zone, positionally, and how responsible he is.

“Because he does that, when he comes into the [offensive] zone, sometimes he’s the late guy but he finds positions to score and gets open.

“And he’s got a great shot. The way he hides and protects the puck, his shot is, for me, one of the most deceiving shots in the NHL right now.

"I don’t think goalies can pick it up coming off the stick, the way he protects it and hides it and how quickly he gets the shot off.

“It’s fun to watch him now, but I just can’t wait to see how much higher his game can go. It’s definitely been every year he’s been making a step, making a step. So you think 24, 25, 26, 27…

“I think he’s going to be even a better playmaker as we move forward. We are lucky to have him.”

The Flames will try to follow up a 3-2 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks when they face St Louis Blues, and Monahan himself is expecting a battle.

“They’re strong, they’re heavy and obviously they use their body well,” he said. “We have to play tough and we need to have good push-back.”