He may not be the most skilled player left on the table, but Sean Monahan will bring exactly what the Carolina Hurricanes need: strong two-play on the third line instantly.
The Canes may already have two great centers in the Staal brothers, but the team is lacking after that. Their next best options are Riley Nash and Viktor Rask, a prospect that has not played in the AHL or NHL yet.
Monahan figures to fit in the third-line center position and was born late in 1994, so has a year of experience that other draft prospects do not have. He excels on the defensive side of the puck, yet also brings some offensive capabilities. Monahan could be compared to the Philadelphia Flyers‘ Sean Couturier or Colorado Avalanches’ Gabriel Landeskog, who both started in the NHL the season after they were drafted.
While Aleksander Barkov is another center that has more offensive skill, he is less likely to make the team out of training camp and would be better utilized in a scoring role, rather than a checking.
The 18-year-old is not a defenseman, but he will help the defense, which is exactly what the Canes need. He’ll be able to play the penalty kill and give the Staal brothers a rest and eliminates one target the Hurricanes would have had to address in the offseason.
Monahan is not the flashiest player left in the draft, but the impact he would make on this Canes team is too much to pass up on.
Tomorrow: The FanSided Mock Draft continues with the Calgary Flames.