There are a lot of pros and a lot of cons with the Winnipeg Jets making a trade for Sean Monahan. On the positive side, Winnipeg should get an upgrade at centre. They get someone who can take face-offs and score on the power play. But on the negative side, he seems to be an empty-calorie scorer who won’t get the luxury of playing tons of minutes in Winnipeg. I am not a fan but I’m going to try to be as neutral as possible.
In Calgary Monahan built a reputation as a two-way player who finished his chances at an elite clip. While he still has the reputation, it is not the truth. He is a very good offensive player who is a shell of his former self in the defensive zone. At the same time, a large chunk of his production has come on the power play. The bumper position in front of the net was where he thrived so I am not too confident he will push Gabriel Vilardi off of power play unit one.
Examining the Sean Monahan Trade
The Monahan trade gives Winnipeg a six-foot-three left-handed centre who is exceptional at taking face-offs. A stat the Winnipeg Jets have struggled with all season. He is scoring at an excellent rate in points per game this year (second-line rate) this season and has been able to score a lot of goals net front. Scoring the dirty goals is something a team always needs. While it is cliche it really seems like he’s a hard-nosed player who can score playoff-type goals. On a contender like Winnipeg his offence could really shine while if he bogs down and buys into the system; his defensive play should improve. Monahan has been good this year and the Jets are betting on it not being a mirage.
On paper though this addition is an attempt to improve two of the things the Jets struggle with mightily at the moment. Face-offs and the power play. Monahan has scored 16 points on the power-play this season and has won 55% of his face-offs. Furthermore acquiring him early allows the Jets to get him used to their system and make more moves at the deadline. Allowing him to play with two studs in Cole Perfetti and Nikolaj Ehlers also will also help him greatly. There is a path where this Monahan trade ends up benefitting Winnipeg.
Monahan is not a defensive player. He gives up a lot of chances while he’s on the ice. This pretty much means he can’t play with other defensive black holes like Kyle Connor. On top of that he was extremely mediocre in his prior two seasons. If he reverts back to that form which is very likely if he gets less ice-time, this trade could look really bad. Even with upgrading their center depth, the Jets current centre core doesn’t strike any fear into the contenders in the Central Division.
A first-round pick plus a conditional third-round pick is extremely rich for my liking. Demand and supply does play a big factor at the trade deadline but I would have much rather preferred another team overpay for him. However, I do not think a Monahan trade happens if there better centre options available to acquire.
Overall Consensus with the Monahan Trade
I have learned time and time again to judge a trade later and not right as it’s made. For that reason I am cautiously optimistic. However, my vibes right now are not good. For the expensive price he cost I probably would have waited for someone else or passed all together. That being said the Jets have made many moves before that have looked bleak and panned out in the long run. Monahan has proved over the past two seasons he still a middle-six forward at worst, now can he step up to the plate and prove to be a top-six game changer?
Main Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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