Hometown boy Klimchuk grew up Flames fan
NEWARK, NJ -- One needn't remind Morgan Klimchuk of the lineage he's tasked with up keeping.
Drafted by the Calgary Flames 28th overall, the Regina Pats forward is more than aware that he was selected with the pick acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Jarome Iginla. Coincidently, Iginla arrived in Calgary in exchange from then-franchise face Joe Niewendyuk in 1995.
The third generation of that transaction is ready to meet some lofty expectations.
"I'd love to, I'll work my hardest to do that," Klimchuk said. "Those are very big shoes to fill but I'll do my best."
Klimchuk follows Sean Monahan and Emile Poirier as Calgary's first round trio at the 2013 NHL Draft.
But his addition to the team is a little more sentimental. The 18-year-old is a Calgary product and grew up a Flames fan.
"I'm very happy with their choice to take me," Klimchuk said. "It's a dream come true. I'm so excited it worked out the way it did.
"It's an unbelievable feeling. To get drafted is one thing but to get drafted by my hometown team is something that I was hoping for. I'm very, very excited my name got called at the 28 spot by Calgary."
He had a good idea the Flames were interested. Klimchuk met with the Flames at the combine and again at Scotiabank Saddledome.
And as he's aware, anything could've happened.
"You never really know because so many things can happen on draft day," he said. "Meeting them again in Calgary and coming down to the Saddledome, I kind of had a hint they had a little bit of interest because I knew they didn't bring that many people in. You never really know until draft day actually comes."
Leading into the draft, Klimchuk was bombarded with questions about the potential of being drafted by the Flames.
He regularly said he had hoped to play in his hometown. The Flames obliged him.
"I talked about it a whole lot the last little bit here and deep down I was hoping for it. I'm very, very excited it came true and get the chance to play in this great organization."
He wasn't disappointed when the team didn't grab him at 22 and when general manager Jay Feaster and his staff took to the stage to announce the pick, Klimchuk did have doubts about whether or not the pick would hit close to home.
"I blacked out honestly I was so excited," the 5-foot-11 winger said. "I was looking at the pick thinking I could go in that range and when I saw them walk up having already taken two forwards I was nervous. When I heard my name, it was just amazing."
Klimchuk, who feels he could use another season in Regina, could soon call Scotiabank Saddledome home, a rink he's played in many times as a member of the Pats.
But playing for the home side would be completely different.
"I think that'll be pretty special," he said. "It's one thing to play a Major Junior game there or watch a Flames game there but actually playing will be something I've never experienced before."
When he does accomplish that goal, it'll fulfill another dream for Klimchuk.
And give him an opportunity to advance the line from Nieuwendyk to Iginla to today.