Editorials

NHL Rankings: Western Conference’s 5 Most Improved Players

By Matt Barbato
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May 10, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (23) looks on during a break in play during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks in game five of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

3. Sean Monahan

He certainly isn’t a household name outside of Calgary, but Monahan’s emergence from his rookie to sophomore season was one of the more remarkable performances around the league. Monahan is 20-years-old, was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft and will be a major part of the young nucleus of talent the Flames have assembled.

Monahan’s 31 goals were nine more than he scored in his rookie season, but he accumulated 31 helpers, 19 more than a season ago. He also saw increased time on the powerplay and was rather effective, netting 10 goals on the man-advantage. Finally, Monahan’s plus/minus rating went from minus-20 in his rookie season to plus-8 last year, a drastic improvement.

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Let’s also not forget that Monahan did all of this as Calgary’s leader in ice time among forwards. The Flames need Monahan to continue his rapid growth next season and could become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders if he and other youngsters continue to flourish.

Next: No. 2: Filip Forsberg

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