With everyone paying attention to Calgary Flames star Johnny Gaudreau’s point production, people have been forgetting about Sean Monahan. Who’s one of the most underrated players in the NHL right now.
Before the season started, Monahan was ranked by NHL.com as a top-20 centre. Except he barely made the cut. He was ranked at No. 20. But so far, he’s been easily in the top five best centres about a quarter into the season.
He’s currently fourth in goals with 14 in 24 games this season. Among centres, that’s second. His 26 points in 24 games has him averaging over a point per game, the best of his career. He’s projected at achieving 40+ goals this season which would be a career-best. He’s even close to 50 goals. In a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, he finally had his first career hat trick. He could have had one a couple years ago, but he selflessly let Michael Frolik have the hat trick instead.
Via Calgary Sun:
"“I always give him a hard time he doesn’t have a hat-trick and he’s got like a-hundred-and-something goals,” said Monahan’s linemate, close pal and usual assist-provider Johnny Gaudreau. “And now he got his first one, so I’m really happy for him. He deserves it. He played well.”“Johnny found me a couple times,” Monahan said. “And he’s from here and he’s got a lot of people here, so to put the puck in the net for him, it’s nice. And that hat-trick means a lot to me.”"
Like I mentioned, so far this season, Monahan is fourth in goals among all skaters with 14 in 24 games. Only one player ahead of him is a centre. But not only is Monahan one of the highest goal-scorers this season, he’s the highest from his draft class. And from the draft class the year before him.
Keep in mind that that Tweet was made November 18th. It’s now November 29th, and Monahan is up six more goals with 124 in his career. Gabriel Landeskog, who leads all skaters from the 2011 draft is at 127. Monahan was drafted two years later.
He was drafted sixth overall in the 2013 draft, but he barely even projected at going in the top 10. The Calgary Flames saw something in him, and boy were they right.
Last season, Monahan made history. After weeks of everyone talking about him getting his 100th goal, he finally got it against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He became the youngest player in Calgary Flames franchise history to reach 100 goals.
He also became just the sixth youngest active player to reach 100 goals. The players ahead of him are Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Alex Ovechkin, and Patrick Kane. However, Monahan did it in fewer games than Kane.
Last season, he also tied Jarome Iginla‘s overtime goals record when he reached seven. He has one so far this season, putting him at eight in his career and the most in Calgary Flames history. Since his first season in 2013-14, he’s tied for first with eight OT goals. Monahan also has 24 career game-winning goals and has five so far this season which puts him tied for second. His 24 GWG since 2013-14 puts him tied for 15th among all skaters since then, but seven among all centres.
His 121 goals puts him at 17th since 2013-14, but just fifth among centres. The five centres ahead of him: John Tavares, Tyler Seguin, Joe Pavelski, and Sidney Crosby. When you hear those names, you think of elite players.
If and when Mark Giordano leaves the Calgary Flames, Sean Monahan will most likely get the well-deserved Captaincy. After all, he isn’t just one of the best centres this season, but he’s been one of the best since he was drafted. And he’s definitely been underrated.