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NHL Draft Profile: Sean Monahan

by Kristyn Repke / Columbus Blue Jackets

Sean Monahan, considered one of the best offensive players in the 2013 NHL Draft class, is the highest-ranked player from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Due to a well-rounded, mature game that's developed well beyond his years, many scouts speculated that Monahan would have even been a top five selection in last year’s draft class. In this past year of play for the Ottawa 67s, he has developed into the complete package that would improve any team that selects him - and being an elite prospect at the center position, it's a safe bet that several NHL teams will zero in on him as draft day approaches.

Monahan excels in every aspect of the game. His vision and playmaking ability are two key aspects that make him a smart player who knows when to take the puck to the net himself or to set up his teammates for scoring opportunities. He has the ability to see plays before they develop, reading where opposing players will be and breaking up their offensive chances. He is known as a pass-first player but when he keeps the puck himself...watch out.

He has an accurate shot, can drive the net and work the top of the crease for secondary scoring chances. Monahan is dangerous on the power play when afforded extra time and space, which is the last thing his opponents want him to have. Despite his young age and relative inexperience, Monahan is strong in the face-off circle in winning almost 60 percent of his draws, an efficiency rate that would have landed him in the top 30 in the NHL for the 2012-2013 season.

Scouts also like that Monahan is a selfless player who is not afraid to take a hit or stand up for one of his teammates. He has recently improved upon his defensive zone play and in particular winning more one-on-one battles. Because of his great strides defensively, Monahan has become a threat in every situation when he is on the ice.

Monahan’s only slight downfall is that he lacks explosiveness in his skating and could stand to play a more physical game. Throwing a few more hits and becoming quicker on his feet could take his game above and beyond and make him a dangerous player in the NHL, and it's something his NHL team will monitor as he develops.

For the Blue Jackets, Monahan could eventually blossom into a second line center and some think he has the chance to become a legitimate No. 1 center in the NHL. His game has been compared to Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in both on-ice play and off-ice leadership—a dynamic the Blue Jackets would value moving forward.

Statistics

Season      GP  G   A  Pts  

2011-2012  62  33  45  78   

2012-2013   58  31 47  78 

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