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Calgary Flames roll out welcome mat for first-round pick Matthew Coronato


Matthew Coronato stepped onto the ice for the first time with his new teammates Tuesday morning.

The 2021 first-round pick signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

After the morning skate, Coronato met with the media.

He'd never been in front of so many cameras and reporters and was soaking it all in – he says it was a fun day.

"I can't really describe it," the 20-year-old said.

"I've been saying 'exciting' a lot. It's the word that just keeps coming to mind. Everything is really exciting and, like I said, I'm just grateful to be here right now. It's an unbelievable opportunity, so I'm just really happy."


Coronato just finished his sophomore season with Harvard on Friday.

Two days later, he signed his first NHL contract.

The Flames want to set Coronato up for success and don't want to rush him into anything.

Coronato says that's the right move.

"I think right now, for me, it's come in and try to work my hardest, help out wherever I can and support all the guys and see where it goes," he said.


You could see Coronato was a little nervous in his first skate with the Flames.

He was also dealing with the altitude change.

But Coronato says his new team has made him feel right at home.

"I mean, everyone introduced themselves, which was awesome. I'm sitting in the corner over there next to Dillon (Dube) and he's been unbelievable and making me feel comfortable," he said.

"Everyone has been really great."


The Flames want Coronato to be a sponge, getting advice from his new teammates on what it's like to be an NHLer, and how he can get better.

MacKenzie Weegar says he knows who the rookie should be talking to.

"Maybe some of the guys like Backs (Mikael Backlund), Dubes (Dillon Dube) or Hubey (Jonathan Huberdeau)," he said.

"The guys that he can maybe relate to more. You know, I'm just an old grumpy defenceman back there, so those older guys, those forwards that he probably looks up to a little bit more.

"I saw him talking to them and I'm sure they're making him feel a little relaxed and more comfortable."


Coronato has already experienced the moment of being recognized.

It happened on Monday night at the airport when he arrived in Calgary.

Welcome to being in a Canadian market – Coranato says it was great.

"I did have one actually, which was kind of funny and nice," he said.

"A young guy just asked me if I was (Matthew Coronato) and I said yeah, I was, and we had a quick little conversation, so it was cool."

Coronato was set to watch Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Kings from the press box and soak in even more from a very busy day. Top Stories

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