When he was drafted in 2013, Sean Monahan was the Flames’ highest pick since the team selected Rico Fata at sixth overall in 1998. He was also symbolic of the organization’s fresh commitment to the post-Iginla rebuild.
There was also little doubt that Monahan would be picked by the Flames at the time. The club searched in vain for a prototypical top-line centre for nearly Iginla’s entire tenure in Calgary (Olli Jokinen doesn’t count), so it was a no-brainer when the 6’3, 200 pound pivot fell to them at sixth.
Of course, at the time no one was sure just what Monahan’s upside would be. While he was roundly considered one of the safest first round picks available, there was a sense that he might not have the highest offensive ceiling. One of the older picks available in 2013, Monahan’s two-way game was mature but his output was relatively modest compared to other top-10 picks (78 points in 58 games).
Surprise! In reality, Monahan has become a lethal goal scoring threat in the NHL. In fact, he’s arguably been the best sniper under 22 in the league the last few seasons. Sound farfetched? Let’s check the numbers.
The Making of Sean MoneyHands
– Sean Monahan has scored more goals than every other player drafted in 2013. In fact, his 80 goals is 21 more than second place (Nathan MacKinnon).
– Monahan’s 159 points is also the best of any 2013 draftee. In fact, of 2012 drafted players, only Alex Galchenyuk has more points (160).
– Only nine players have scored more than Monahan’s 159 points in their first three years in the league since 2003-04 (if we narrow the list down to guys who started at 18/19). All of them are superstars.
– Monahan’s 0.67 point-per-game pace is better than Phil Kessel (0.57), Tyler Seguin (0.60), Claude Giroux (0.61) and Jamie Benn (0.64) at the same age.
– Monahan’s 159 points are tied as the 10th best first three-season total in Flames franchise history with Dion Phaneuf.
So it’s safe to say Monahan is going to work out better than Rico Fata. Although he won’t turn 22 until this October, Monahan is already an NHL veteran, one of the team’s leaders and poised to get big, fat pay day this summer. Oh, and one of Johnny Gaudreau’s best friends, which might convince the two stars to sign long-term deals for a bit of discount (fingers crossed).
How Good is…?