#2 Sean Monahan
Team: Calgary Flames
Drafted: 6th Overall in 2013 (Round 1)
It is real nice to be able to write this piece knowing that Sean Monahan is going to be a part of this team for the long haul. With his big long-term contract in place, Sean Monahan also has the honour of placing 2nd on our top 25 under 25.
How does a 21-year-old end up signing a 7-year deal averaging $6.375 million a season? Well, a big part of it has to do with putting pucks in the net, something Sean Monahan has done a lot to this point. Rookie season: 22 goals, 12 assists in 75 games. Sophomore season: 31 goals, 31 assists in 81 games. Third season: 27 goals, 36 assists in 81 games. After three seasons in the NHL, Monahan has scored 80 goals already. While he was sheltered his first season, he spent the second and third years of his career facing off against the best centres in the west. Monahan has continued to produce no matter what the situation. While he does not have any particularly noticeable aspect of his game that jumps off the charts, his play can be best characterized by saying that he always seems to be in the right place. The vast majority of his goals seem to be scored right in front of the net. He goes to the net and he gets the puck in. His playmaking has continuously improved each season, something that is likely to continue.
Monahan is not a perfect player. While he takes on tough match ups, he does not always come out on the right side of the possession metrics. However, how much of that is on Monahan and how much of it was on the Flames’ systems under Bob Hartley remains to be seen. Furthermore, even though he has been in the NHL for 3 whole seasons, he is only 21 years of age. Most prospects have not even reached the NHL at his age. He has played three seasons and he has performed well, improving his all around game every season. His possession stats have improved, he has gotten better at face-offs, and he has rounded out his offensive game.
The exciting thing about Monahan is that as good as he is right now, there is still so much room for him to grow. Already with back-to-back seasons of over 60 points, there is the potential for much more. Already faring respectably against top competition, he should be able push the opposition down the other end of the ice more and more as time goes on. Everything about Monahan shows that he has great character. He is great in the community, he shows poise and maturity. The fact he has been locked in long-term should not be a concern, because he seems like the type of guy that will be completely focused on continuously improving himself. That is the sort of guy you need on your team, thankfully the Flames get to watch him continue to grow for at least the next 7 seasons.