As the youngest player on the team, by four years, Sean Monahan does not let on that he is only supposed to be a sophomore in college. He was drafted this past summer—sixth overall—by the Calgary Flames. Needless to say, you know you’re young and ambitious when your idol is a 25-year-old, Jonathan Toews.
RK: As the youngest player on your team, what’s it mean to you to lead the Flames in goals scored?
SM: You don’t look at age anymore; it’s a professional level. I’m just trying to chip in wherever I can, and fortunately, I’m finding the back of the net. It gives you confidence, but a lot of the credit goes to the guys I’ve been playing with.
RK: What is it about Jonathan Toews that inspires you and what are some ways in which you would like to emulate him?
SM: He competes during every shift and he’s a strong two-way player. That’s the type of player I want to be in this league and that’s something I’m working towards.
RK: How different has it been for you, on a physical and emotional level, playing in the NHL as opposed to playing in the OHL?
SM: The guys are stronger and quicker up here [in the NHL], but at the end of the day, at this level, if you take care of your body, you’re going to feel good. The travel is easier in this league; it’s plane rides instead of bus rides. [The bottom line] is that you gotta take care of your body to feel good everyday.
RK: What are the best perks of being in the NHL vs. the OHL?
SM: Of course we get the plane rides instead of the bus rides, so it’s a lot nicer in that sense. We get better food, which really benefits you. Equipment is pretty similar to juniors. Just being around pros, that’s the biggest benefit to me.
RK: What do you expect out of yourself tonight (2/6/2014 vs. the NY Islanders)?
SM: [I’d like to] play a hard game, we need these two points. We have two more games before the Olympic break, so we are looking for two wins. (The Flames beat the Islanders 4-2, where Monahan scored the first goal of the game. Calgary then lost to the Flyers 2-1.)