Sean Monahan cracks NHL Network's list of top-20 centers
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The NHL Network has released their annual rankings for the top-20 centers in the league.
Unlike last summer, the Calgary Flames have a representative this time around in Sean Monahan.
I'm not necessarily surprised Monahan cracked the top-20. He put up 82 points – his previous high was 64 – in 78 games while centering the top line of a team that won the Western Conference. That's going to get you recognized.
With that said, I'm not sure Monahan *deserves* to be on the list. At least not yet, and not when comparing him to some of the guys who didn't make it (like Sean Couturier or even Tomas Hertl).
Monahan is not a possession driver, he's not a great defender, he's not a great skater, and he doesn't contribute much when he's not scoring.
Monahan is an opportunistic finisher, and was a fairly consistent offensive threat for a lot of the year, but he struggled mightily down the stretch to the point where Flames followers were discussing dropping him down the lineup for the playoffs.
Don't get me wrong. For all his faults, Monahan is still a very solid center. I just don't think he belongs in a top-20.
Maybe the NHL Network is simply being generous after not including Mark Giordano on their top-20 defensemen list last August.
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