Sure it’s the pre-season but the offensive production can’t be overlooked.

Matt Stajan the oft-maligned Calgary Flames centre collected two goals and six points in five pre-season games.

Adding to his performance was the way Stajan looked during the exhibition slate.

He was confident.

He was assertive.

He was a leader for the crew of young centres.

While much of the talk around the Flames this fall has been about the youngsters notably centres such as Sean Monahan Roman Horak Ben Street and Corban Knight — who’s been sent to the minors — Stajan quietly went about his business on all avenues.

“We have a lot of centremen here and seen a lot of young guys and fresh faces to the organization who are natural centres being tested on the wing.

“There are a lot of centres just not a lot of experience with NHL games at centre” Stajan said.

“My job is to come here and play my game play the right way and be an example for those younger guys and talk to them.

“It’s not easy as a young guy coming into that position. You need to have guys to go to and be good support. I’m trying to be that guy.”

Considering where it appeared Stajan’s career was headed two years ago it’s quite the turnaround.

Remember how things were for him leading into the 2011-12 campaign? Stajan started on the fourth line was even a healthy scratch for a game then-coach Brent Sutter opted to dress seven defencemen and had zero confidence when he hit the ice.

Now as the team readies for the Oct. 3 season-opener against the host Washington Capitals he couldn’t be feeling better about himself.