The Canes have the No. 5 selection in Sunday's NHL Entry Draft. This week CanesNow will take a look at potential picks. Today: Sean Monahan.
If the Canes are looking for a center and Aleksander Barkov is off the board, this could be their guy. Monahan has the size at 6-2 and 187 pounds, the skills and the intangibles that potentially could make him NHL-ready next season.
The Ottawa 67's of the OHL didn't have a very good season, winning 15 games in 2012-2013, but Monahan did. The team captain, the Brampton, Ont., native closed with 31 goals and 47 assists in 58 games.
"Their team had a difficult year and it was a rebuilding year," said Tony MacDonald, the Canes' director of amateur scouting. "They traded away a lot of their better players but Sean stayed on as the captain.
"Sean played the year before with (Tyler) Toffoli and (Shane) Prince on one of the best lines in the Canadian Hockey League the year. This year he had to do a lot pretty much on his own and put up pretty much the same kind of numbers."
Monahan had a 10-game suspension -- for an elbow to the head of Plymouth Whalers' Colin MacDonald -- that MacDonald said likely prevented him from being selected to Canada's team for the World Junior Championship.
"Sean didn't make the junior team after having a good summer camp with them but primarily because he picked up the suspension just prior to the tournament and that put him out of action for a while," MacDonald said. "So he wasn't quite game-ready when the camp was run at Christmas-time."
But that's not a huge drawback. MacDonald and others refer to Monahan as a "quality individual" with a lot of upside to his game. He was the fifth-rated skater in North America by NHL Central Scouting.
"He's a big centerman, very creative, maybe one of the most creative players in the draft," MacDonald said. "He's a great playmaker, has great imagination, has the ability to find people in open ice and put the puck right on their stick.