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Regaining his form at the right time: Sean Monahan Jets Nation year in review

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Photo credit:© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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Sean Monahan, he’s the man of the hour for this Jets Nation year in review. Welcome back to yet another day of this early off-season series where I look at the seasons from the Winnipeg Jets in 2023-24 and look ahead to their 2024-25 seasons. Yesterday, I talked about Nino Niederreiter and Alex Iafallo, so now I’m down to the last 6 or so players. Today, I’m going to be focusing on 2 players that were acquired mid-season, focusing on their time with the Jets, and the 1st player is a Canadian-born centre, Sean Monahan.
I have to start with the trade, to give some context on how the Jets acquired Monahan this season just ahead of the trade deadline. The Jets traded their 1st round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and a conditional 3rd round pick in the 2027 NHL Draft for Sean Monahan. It was quite the cost to acquire Monahan, who found himself having a pretty solid year with the Montreal Canadiens up until that point. In 49 games, Monahan had 13 goals and added 22 assists for 35 points. The Jets were looking for an experienced 2nd line centre, and they found just that with the acquisition of Monahan.
The 29-year old from Brampton, Ontario has had an interesting career path since being taken in the 1st round, 6th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL entry draft. The first 5 or 6 seasons of Monahan’s career went well with the Flames, but the rest of his time with the Flames, which he was with for a total of 9 years, didn’t go too well and was affected by multiple injuries. The Canadiens acquired Monahan in 2022-23 at a low cost (become his value was low) and despite another multiple injury season in 2022-23, he bounced back this season and was able to be flipped for a really good return for the Canadiens. In 34 games with the Jets, Monahan scored 13 goals and added 11 assists for 24 points. In the playoffs, Monahan was mostly a non-factor, only getting 1 assist in the 5 game series loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
The big thing to talk about with Monahan is really if the Jets will be able to keep him around past this season. Before getting to his contract, I thought I’d give you a brief overview of what Monahan does well and what he brings to a team. The former 6th overall pick is still only 29, so his potential now after a bounce back season with a total of 26 goals is still there for the taking. Monahan sat around 55% on faceoffs this season, which put him in the top 35 in the league, an underrated part of his game. Overall, injuries have really affected Monahan over the past few seasons excluding 2023-24, but he still knows how to produce without being on the top line. When he’s healthy and consistent, he can put up points and be a very important contributor to a team, and he’s played in various roles before including on the powerplay and even on the penalty kill.
As mentioned, with the Jets specifically, Monahan continued where he left off with a much needed good season that he was having with the Canadiens. Monahan signed a 1 year, almost 2 million dollar deal with the Canadiens for this season, meaning that Monahan will now hit free agency at age 29. Teams, including the Jets, do have to remain cautious about Monahan’s injury-filled past, but they also need to respect the season he had this year. With all the questions and concerns that the Jets have this off-season, I don’t think that re-signing Monahan is at the top of their list despite what it cost to acquire him. Teams in the past have done the same thing, acquire a rental to hopefully help them go on a long playoff run, but most of the time it doesn’t work out and they end up letting the player move on in free agency.
Monahan will certainly be looking for a raise after proving himself this season, and with all the other unrestricted free agents that the Jets have, I don’t think they’ll be able to afford Monahan unfortunately. His deal will likely be fairly short-term, possibly 3-4 years, but despite him enjoying his time with the Jets he’ll be looking to join a team where he could possibly have an even bigger role. Overall though, it was a successful season and still a worthwhile acquistion for the Jets to make. Monahan is regaining his form from earlier in his career at just the right time, and it should pay off for him this free agency. Maybe I’m wrong and the Jets somehow find a way to re-sign Monahan, but if this is it for Monahan’s time with the Jets you still have to respect the effort he gave while he was with the team in the 2023-24 season.

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