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Fantasy Spin: Monahan on cusp of ownership spike

by Pete Jensen /

The Calgary Flames had one player in's preseason top 200 rankings, making them the League's least represented team entering the season from a fantasy standpoint.

That player was Mike Cammalleri (C/LW, 38 percent owned), who has yet to play a game due to an upper-body injury. Only defenseman Dennis Wideman (average draft position: 129.1), left wing Sven Baertschi (156.1) and goalie Karri Ramo (173.3) have been drafted on average in Yahoo leagues.

But whether or not a player is selected in fantasy leagues should not always dictate his value moving forward. Therefore, rookie center Sean Monahan could end up boosting your team off the waiver wire if he continues to impress during his nine-game NHL tryout.

Flames rookie center Sean Monahan could end up boosting your fantasy team off the waiver wire if he continues to impress during his nine-game tryout. (Photo: Getty Images)

Monahan, the sixth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, collected his third goal in four games this season in the win Wednesday over the Montreal Canadiens, adding an assist, three shots on goal and a plus-2 rating. He's riding a four-game point streak to kick off his NHL career, something that according to NHL Public Relations has only been done by three players since 2008 (Jamie McBain in 2010, Carl Hagelin in 2011 and Cory Conacher in 2013).

Coming into the season, it was far from a given that Monahan would make the Flames roster, but he has made it tough on the coaching staff with his consistent play. Each of his three goals this season have been assisted by Lee Stempniak, as that duo has meshed well with Baertschi so far on the team's third line.

Nathan MacKinnon and Tomas Hertl, two other dynamic rookies to burst onto the fantasy radar, have a chance to join Monahan on that list Thursday. That said, it's worth noting that Monahan's fantasy ownership (seven percent) is nowhere near that of the aforementioned forwards.

This 18-year-old's value lies in the points and shots on goal categories, but his overall game is still a work in progress. The Flames have been a prolific goal-scoring team out of the gate this season (3.75 goals per game, tied for fifth in the NHL), but things could get ugly if they cool off offensively.

Monahan has been on the ice for five team goals (tied for 41st in the NHL), but has also seen six goals allowed under his watch. The Flames, as a team, have allowed 3.50 goals per game (24th in the NHL).

Anticipating value spikes and quickly catching onto trends is the name of the game in fantasy hockey. Monahan (center-eligible) is a low-risk fantasy addition in deep leagues who could find himself in the thick of the Calder Trophy race if he sticks at the NHL level.


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