By Alex Medina
There’s an opportunity knocking on the door.
Flames prospect Morgan Klimchuk is ready to answer it.
The 23-year-old recently re-signed with the Flames with a one-year, two-way deal, after another strong season with the Stockton Heat.
Although it’s a two-way deal, he has his eyes set on the NHL.
“I am very thankful for been given another opportunity with the contract and I’m excited to get things going into training camp,” Klimchuk said. “You have to go in with the mindset that there are jobs to be had and if not you’re going to have to steal it from someone and that’s ultimately the nature of this business.
“You have to have the confidence in knowing you can earn a spot and play in the NHL.”
Klimchuk has spent the last three seasons with the Heat, coming off another 40-point campaign with 19 goals and 21 assists in 62 contests.
In addition to his time in the AHL, the former first round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft got the call-up he hadbeen waiting for on Feb. 19, making his debut against the Boston Bruins.
“It was a special experience for sure and something that I was working towards for a very long time,” he said. “To get out there and put the jersey on was a dream come true.
“Things happen a lot quicker and I think I showed I can skate with those guys and be a solid player that can contribute. I want to get back up there so it’s up to me to earn that shot again and find a way to stay.”
It was a learning experience for the young forward, as he soaked everything in his day with the club. The transition was better having seeing a familiar face in former teammate Mark Jankowski.
“It’s comforting to see someone like Janko earn that opportunity and make the most of it to be full-time NHL player,” he said. “It gives you the confidence that you can do the same thing.
“To see the best payers in the world on how they prepare was huge for me. In your development as a player you want to take bits of pieces from everyone to learn from the best and further improve your game.”
Klimchuk has been busy this off-season improving in every aspect of his game, even working outside the box compared to his training regiment in years prior.
All the extra training he hopes will pay off once training camp begins as he looks to make an impression.
“There’s a lot to work on when you’re trying to make the jump to the big club,” he said. “I’m trying new things, working with induvial skill guys like Ron Johnson. It’s something I haven’t done in years prior but I’m trying to add layers to my game especially in the offensive zone to do more on the scoresheet.
“I want to be a full-time NHLer.”