Monahan, Poirier are Alberta bound

Can we start calling them the Calgary Capital Flames?

Monahan, Poirier are Alberta bound
Sean Monahan poses for a portrait after being selected number six overall in the first round by the Calgary Flames during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

NEWARK, N.J. — Can we start calling them the Calgary Capital Flames?

The Flames, loaded with early NHL draft picks Sunday, went hard at Ottawa-area talent.

They took Ottawa 67′s centre Sean Monahan sixth overall and then selected Emile Poirier of the Gatineau Olympiques with the 22nd overall pick.

Once the initial shock wore off for Monahan — “I didn’t actually realize I had been picked and I kind of blacked out for a second” — the 67′s captain made a bold statement to the Calgary Flames and their fans.

“I think I’m NHL ready. This summer is going to help that. I’m worked out a lot since our season ended March 17.”

Monahan scored 31 goals and 47 assists in 58 games for the 67′s in 2012-13, his third full year in the Ontario Hockey League. While it’s rare for a player to step directly out of junior into the big leagues, the Flames have been searching for a talented young centre seemingly forever.

Monahan, who turns 19 in October, says the lead-up to the draft, full of interview after interview, was “crazy,” but he had a strong feeling that the Flames would call his name — unless somebody beat them to it.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent sure, but I knew they had an interest and I knew one of their needs was a centre. I had a few interviews with them and I thought I left a good impression.”

Poirier, a centre/left winger, scored 32 goals and 38 assists with Gatineau last season and the Flames hope he eventually develops into a third- or fourth-line winger.

Sunday was a big day for several other Ottawa prospects, as well. Nick Baptiste, the former star of the Ottawa Junior Senators who currently plays for the Sudbury Wolves, was chosen in the third round by the Buffalo Sabres.

The big-league Senators selected Gatineau teenager Vincent Dunn and the New York Islanders gave Ottawa’s Alan Quine a second chance to make a first impression.

Quine, a third-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 2011, was not signed by Detroit before June 1, giving him a chance to re-enter the draft. Quine, who scored 14 goals and 27 assists in 28 games with Belleville in 2012-13, could step directly into the American Hockey League next season.

The final round included a somewhat sappy moment, when New Jersey Devils hero Martin Brodeur announced the Devils had drafted his son, Anthony, also a goaltender, in the seventh round. The younger Brodeur will play for Gatineau next season.

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