If Sean Monahan wins a full-time job with the Calgary Flames his ability to win faceoffs will be a big reason for it.



You expect some growing pains with an 18-year-old centre but Monahan has made it clear through four pre-season outings — including Monday’s 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers at the Saddledome where he went 6-for-11 — that he can already hold his own in the circle at the big-league level.

“For a young guy he’s aa good as I’ve seen to tell you the truth” said Flames centre Matt Stajan.

“He’s really strong and hopefully he keeps getting better because that’s a key part to any centreman’s game and that’s something you can tell he takes a lot of pride in.

“Playing against him in the scrimmages he’s strong on that faceoff dot.

“And he’s smart.

“I think a lot of being a centreman and taking faceoffs is that everyone is coming in with a plan and he has a plan and he’s watching what other guys do.”

During an interview Monday morning with Sportsnet Fan 590’s Hockey Central Flames GM Jay Feaster didn’t flinch when asked if Monahan would likely be sticking around the Saddledome past the conclusion of training camp.

“If we had to make the decision today he would stay with us to start for sure” Feaster said.

With a solid showing — including one assist — against the Rangers Monahan didn’t hurt his cause.

It’s worth noting the Flames had the third-worst faceoff percentage in the NHL last season with just a 46.6% success rate at the dot.

If Monahan can help in that category it makes it even more difficult to justify sending the sixth-overall pick back to the junior ranks to start the season.

“That’s something I take a lot of pride in and I guess it’s one of my strengths as a player” Monahan said.