Briggins with more on one of the best prospects in this year's draft class.
With the Memorial Cup wrapping up last weekend in Saskatoon, hockey fans had a chance to see a healthy abundance of NHL eligible draft prospects. Halifax Moosehead Nathan MacKinnon had two hat-tricks (including one in the final game) and even jumped ahead of Seth Jones in International Scouting Services number one spot. Seth Jones was a dominant force and scored a key goal for Portland in the final versus Halifax. Nic Petan was impressive for Portland scoring one goal and setting up 9 others. Bo Harvat looked great for London. The list goes on.
What about Sean Monahan?
Excelling without the spotlight
One player who will hear his name early in the first round this year didn’t have the luxury of playing in high-profile tournaments such as the World Juniors or Memorial Cup. He played on a team that went from winning an average of 40 games the last four seasons to one that only won 16 games this season. That same team saw key pieces like Ottawa Senators first rounder Cody Ceci move on mid-season. This player was also suspended 10 games in November for an elbow to the head of Plymouth Whaler’s Colin MacDonald.
By this point, you have probably guessed the player being talked about is Ottawa 67’s captain Sean Monahan. The tall and somewhat lanky center comes in at 186 pounds and is 6-2. In 58 games this season he scored 31 goals and added 47 assists, matching his total of 78 points from the season before. His plus/minus took a major dip, dropping from 25 to minus 18. We’ll give him a free pass on that one considering the state of the rebuilding 67’s.
Like Hunter Shinkaruk, who I wrote about in April, Monahan was a late cut for Team Canada’s World Junior team this year. And like Shinkaruk, getting cut hasn’t negatively effected his draft stock. He’s a motivated and driven player as evidenced by him playing hurt late in the OHL season even when the 67’s were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
When talking to Buffalo Sabres Director of Amateur Scouting, Kevin Devine, before the CHL top prospects game in January, he called Monahan “a very good two-way player” and “one of the best junior players I’ve ever seen on the draw...sneaky on the offensive side, very good wrist shot, excellent hockey sense”. On the downside, Devine pointed out his skating as a weakness but thinks that it is fixable.
Grab him early in fantasy drafts
Monahan has the potential to be a top five pick and end up as a number one center on a team down the road. The fact he already has a strong two-way game should help speed up his path to the NHL and fantasy relevance. In rookie drafts this year, I would not hesitate when selecting Monahan. Feel confident taking him after MacKinnon and Drouin are off the board.
Previously from Briggins
The 2013 DobberHockey Prospects Report is OUT TODAY! More information on all of the above players (as well as hundreds of other prospects you need to know about) will be in there. And for only $2.50 more, pick up the 2013 DobberHockey Keeper League Pack, which includes the 2013-14 Fantasy Guide and the 2013-14 Draft List.