At 6th overall in 2013, Sean Monahan was the first draft pick for the Calgary Flames in the post Iginla Kiprusoff era, and has proved to be a true gem.
Seventh heaven? More like sixth (overall) heaven for the Calgary Flames.
The 2012-13 season was doom-and-gloom for the Flames, and sparked a rebuild that completed reconstructed the team. The first piece of that reconstruction: Sean Monahan. A big two-way centre with plenty of scoring touch. The young Ottawa 67’s forward seemed to be exactly the Flames needed, and with four years of retrospect, it’s safe to say he has been.
Let’s take a deeper look at what possibly one of the best sixth-overall picks in NHL history has done in his first four years in the league.
His Draft Year
Every team is hoping to strike gold when it comes to the NHL Draft, whether they are picking 1st or 101st. However, the reality is that busts exist, and they happen more often than anyone would want. When the Flames figured out they were picking at #6 in 2013, arguably the most important draft year in the team’s history, there was pressure. No matter what, they knew they were getting a good player, but they wanted to get the best player they could – And they did.
In his rookie season, Monahan scored 22 goals (the most by a Flames rookie since Dion Phaneuf) and started to solidify himself as the team’s #1 centre for many years to come. Since then, he’s gotten better and better every year.
Monahan has the most goals and points from the 2013 draft (107 goals, 217 points), with the next closest being 1st overall pick Nathan Mackinnon. Not bad for a #6, right?
His Consistency and Leadership
Monahan has scored 20+ goals in each of his four seasons with the Flames, including a 31- goal season in 2014-15. He has also steadily improved in the faceoff circle from year to year, something many would argue is his weakest link.
Furthermore, Monahan is now on the fast-track to becoming the next captain of the Flames – Having been added to the leadership group in his second season, and being given an A in his third. He is regarded as a rather quiet leader, who leads by example with his play on the ice. It is clear he is well-respected and well-liked in the dressing room, which goes a long way.
#23 is a bonafide sniper, a great leader and a power-play specialist with a sneaky knack for passing. Remind you of anyone? *cough cough* Iginla.
One of Monahan’s greatest assets his incredible durability, something that is very rare among hockey players. He has played 334 of the Flames 343 games since 2013-14 (including playoffs), which means he has only missed 15 games in his NHL career; 13 of which being in his rookie season – That is impressive.
Sean Monahan has become one of the faces of the franchise for the Calgary Flames. And it’s clear to see why. Plus, If his play in the 2017 playoffs are any indication, the best is yet to come. His prime years are going to be a lot of fun for Flames fans.
For the record, Monahan is my favorite player. He’s awesome.