April 15, 2024
Graduating Jets trade for Sean Monahan


With a thin center market, teams are wasting no time looking for depth up the middle. And with Lindholm and Monahan’s high costs, the market may be set. Let’s grade each side.

Jets had to pay a big price for center upgrade

The Jets didn’t have very good center depth with Mark Scheifele in the lineup, but that was further highlighted by him missing some time due to injury. According to Elliotte Friedman on the February 1 episode of The Jeff Marek Show, the Jets were probably in on Lindholm, so it’s clear they were looking for a center.

They found their man in Monahan, who is having one of the best seasons in recent memory. At the time of the trade, he had 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games, putting him on track to finish with 22 goals and 58 points on the season.

Monahan’s offensive game is clearly his strength, as that is where he has provided the most value to the Canadiens this season. Their even-strength offense is worth a goals above replacement (GAR) of 4.2, and they have been helped on the power play, their play on the man advantage is worth a GAR of 2.6.

Where Monahan struggles is defensively. Whatever he creates and produces aggressively, he gives back in abundance at his end. His even-strength defense is worth a GAR of minus-4.2, a number that ranks 14th-worst among all forwards league-wide this season.

In saying that, Monahan should help the Jets add some offense from the center position. The key will be protecting his ice time and keeping him away from difficult defensive assignments. If the Jets plan to use him as a two-way centerman, they won’t be able to extract maximum value from him, so it’s important to put him in position to succeed.

Still, it’s hard to say the Jets won this trade. Certainly, they are solidifying the position of need, and Monahan will help add scoring punch. But giving up a first-round pick and another conditional pick for someone with a mid-six center seems like a relatively high payout, even if that’s what the market is dictating at the moment.

The central market is weak, especially with Lindholm off the board less than 48 hours ago. But it wasn’t the best asset management from Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, especially since Monahan will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Jet Grade: C+

The Canadiens handled Monahan excellently.

There is a team on the other end of this trade that should be thrilled with the return they got for Monahan. After receiving a first-round selection from the Calgary Flames to take over Monahan’s contract, he added another contract to his wardrobe about 18 months later.

The Canadians also managed the whole situation well. They likely would have moved Monahan at last season’s trade deadline. But he was out due to injury, making him unavailable for the teams. Instead, the Canadiens re-signed Monahan to a one-year deal for 2023–24, and he proved it was the right decision.

Monahan has not only been healthy, but he has also been productive, as noted above. The Canadiens now have two first-round picks in the upcoming 2024 draft, and they still have the first chance over the Flames to acquire the contract of Monahan, who sits in the 2025 draft.

There’s really nothing to dislike about what Canadiens GM Kent Hughes did in handling Monahan. He was patient, capitalized on a market that commands a high price for centers, and brought another first-round pick to a team that is still rebuilding. What they do in the first round remains to be seen, but they have stockpile draft capital for 2024, with 12 picks in seven rounds.

Canadiens Grade: A

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Source: www.yardbarker.com

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