Amidst a tumultuous first round of the NHL Draft, the Calgary Flames brought a rare glimpse of sanity and stability when they chose Sean Monahan of the Ottawa 67s sixth overall – possibly the only pick accurately guessed by mock drafts and prognosticators.
The Flames have long sought a big center to anchor their top six. They’ve looked long and hard, acquiring Olli Jokinen twice for the role. Monahan fits the bill pretty well. He was a rock for the struggling Ottawa 67s, indicating that he’ll have the patience to pitch in for a young, rebuilding Flames club over the next few years.
In addition, Monahan is a bit of a man-beast. He’s 6’2” and a shade under 200 pounds – he’s slightly shorter but more stoutly built than Mark Jankowski – and he got good hands, good leadership ability and is arguably the top two-way player available in the entire draft.
Tweeted Hockey Hall of Famer Eric Duhatschek: “Sean Monahan says he believes he’s NHL ready. He may not be NHL ready on some teams, but he’s probably NHL ready in Calgary.” He may not be an elite player right away, but he’ll give Calgary a good complementary asset for this season that will (hopefully) develop into a strong top-six asset and a cornerstone of the club.
And heck, the last major player the Flames took from the OHL was T.J. Brodie, and that turned out pretty well.