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Draft Profile: Sean Monahan

Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 9:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
Each weekday leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s fifth pick. Previous Profiles: Nathan MacKinnon | Elias Lindholm | Seth Jones | Jonathan Drouin | Max Domi | Aleksander Barkov | Related Links: 2013 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History




What Sean Monahan accomplished in the 2012-13 season was noteworthy enough, but how he did it was arguably more impressive.

Michael Smith
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Monahan, 18, concluded his third season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Ottawa 67’s and his first as the team’s captain. For the second straight season, he recorded 78 points (31g, 47a).

And he did so without now-professional linemates Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince on a team that won just 16 of 68 games.

“He played without that kind of quality winger on his line this year,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes director of amateur scouting. “He had to do it more by himself and still had the kind of season that made you stand up and take notice.”

Compounding the difficult circumstances was Monahan’s 10-game suspension, levied against the Brampton, Ontario, native in late November after an elbow to the head of Plymouth Whalers captain Colin MacDonald.

A few weeks later, the then-top OHL prospect was cut in the Canadian national junior team selection camp.

SEAN MONAHAN
CENTER
HOMETOWN: BRAMPTON, ONTARIO
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 187
BIRTHDAY: OCT. 12, 1994 (AGE 18)

“The suspension hurt him badly going into the national junior camp at Christmastime,” MacDonald said. “It probably cost him a spot on the team at the time because he wasn’t as game-ready or prepared as he would have been.”

Despite the adversity, the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service ranks Monahan fifth among North American skaters, a one-spot drop from midterms.

Monahan finished the 2012-13 season ranking first in scoring on the rebuilding 67’s with 31 goals, including a team-leading 15 on the power play, and 47 assists. Monahan was voted by OHL Eastern Conferences coaches among the top-three players in four separate categories – smartest player, best playmaker, best stickhandler and best on faceoffs.

A year prior, flanked by Toffoli (100 points) and Prince (90 points), Monahan notched 33 goals and 45 assists (78 points) and was a plus-25. Ottawa won its division, finishing second in the Eastern Conference with 40 wins and 88 points. In the 2011-12 postseason, Monahan recorded 15 points (8g, 7a) in 18 games, as the 67’s bowed out to the Niagara IceDogs in the Eastern Conference Final.

A 6-foot-2, 187-pound left-shooting center, Monahan’s best asset is his two-way capabilities. In molding his game, Monahan has said that he looks to strong two-way NHL centers like Jordan Staal.

Similar to his fellow top forward prospects, Monahan possess high-end offensive talent. His instincts and vision make him a quality playmaker.

“He’s a character individual and a quality person. He’s a tremendous player with a great hockey IQ and vision of the ice,” MacDonald said. “If he had a strength that stood out above all, it would be his ability to create and make plays.”

Monahan has some loose ties to the Carolina hockey scene. His grandfather, Rick Hay, logged 14 games and five assists with the Charlotte Checkers in the now-defunct Eastern Hockey League during the 1961-62 season.

Though stranger things have happened, Monahan, in all likelihood, will be available when the Hurricanes approach the podium with the fifth overall pick on Sunday. With his size and smarts down the middle, he makes a strong case to be considered.



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[SSS_STANDINGS.METROPOLITAN_DIVISION_LABEL]
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06
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