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In the battle of Alberta, I’d always pick Edmonton. /image: behindthemicblog.blogspot.com
In the battle of Alberta, I’d always pick Edmonton. /image: behindthemicblog.blogspot.com

Regina Pats forward Klimchuk catches fire with the Flames

Article: Brady Lang – Sports Writer

On June 30, 2013 Regina Pats’ left-winger Morgan Klimchuk’s life changed forever.

The Calgary, AB. native was chosen 28th overall by his hometown team, the Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL entry draft.

For the Pats left-winger, now in his fourth year with the club, being drafted by his hometown team made the whole experience that much sweeter.

“[The Draft] was a once in a lifetime experience,” Klimchuk said. “It’s one thing to get drafted, it’s another to go in the first round, and it’s another to go to your hometown team so those were three things I was very excited to experience.”

Every hockey-playing child in Canada has the dream of someday playing for their favourite team, and Klimchuk is now living the Canadian dream.
“I do realize that being drafted is just an invite to training camp and now the real work starts,” he said.

Even though he was nervous as draft day approached, Klimchuk always hoped that his dream would lead him to Calgary.

“You never know who it is that is going to pick you but I had a few good interviews with the Flames before the draft and did additional testing with [the Flames],” said the forward. “I was really hoping when they went up for the first few picks that they were going to take me and when they finally did for the third one I was pretty relieved.”

Even though Klimchuk was invited to training camp with the big club, an abdominal wall strain kept him out of most workouts with the Flames. This gave the young winger a chance to sit back and watch how the pros train and prepare for the season.

“Seeing how they prepared and trained on a daily basis was a great experience and I was honoured to [attend] camp with the team,” said the forward.

“It’s one thing to get drafted, it’s another to go in the first round, and it’s another to go to your hometown team so those were three things I was very excited to experience.” 

Klimchuk also added that he was lucky enough to have a Flame take him under his wing and show him the ropes as a young NHLer.

“Michael Cammalleri [took me under his wing],” he said. “He was injured as well and when he was playing he was one of the best players on the ice and when he was off the ice he gave me little pointers. It was great to skate with guys like that.”

During the camp he gained valuable experience that should give him a leg up on the competition during next year’s tryouts.

Being from Calgary, Klimchuk said that he grew up cheering for the Flames and for guys like Jarome Iginla, but surprisingly, his idol was the captain of a divisional rival, Joe Sakic.

Klimchuk has become a mainstay in the Pats offense throughout the years. In 144 games with the club from 2010-13 he has potted 54 goals and 113 points. While it is still early in the season, Klimchuk has been producing at over a point-a-game pace and seems like he is ready to have another stellar season with the Pats.

“I want to be a leader on this team and be responsible in both ends of the ice,” he said. “Team goals are obviously first and foremost so we hope to make the playoffs and have success in the post season.”

Klimchuk will take the experience that he gained in Calgary back with him to Regina this season and hopes to play well in 2013-14.

If all goes right for the forward professional hockey is in his grasp. The Flames will monitor him closely throughout the year and we may see the Pats forward in a Calgary jersey sooner rather than later.

About Brady Lang

Former benchwarmer and full time sports junkie with a passion for broadcast journalism. I’ll talk sports with anyone, even if you’re a Yankees fan!