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All eyes on Ottawa captain Sean Monahan

No player felt the sting of graduation more than newly-appointed Ottawa 67's captain Sean Monahan.

It's been an adjustment for the Brampton, Ontario native without two-time 50-goal scorer Tyler Toffoli - and Shane Prince, who potted 68 goals over the previous two seasons patrolling Monahan's left side.

This year's linemates are instead Steven Janes (23 goals in three seasons) and Dante Salituro, the team’s first-round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.

Monahan has been an easy target for opponents to key on - as neither of his new wingers can skate or process the game as quickly as he can, which has placed him at a disadvantage to start the season.

Here are scouting notes from a recent contest...

Sean Monahan (C, 2013), Ottawa

- introduced as captain to start the season .. displays a tireless work ethic and will compete regardless of the score .. a fixture on both special teams - plays in all situations, easily logging in excess of 25 minutes per game .. worked diligently to improve his skating since entering the league - and the results show .. now does a good job of generating straight-ahead speed - even if his first step is still a tad sluggish .. diagonal quickness needs work, although he maintains his edges and can turn well enough thanks to increased lower-body agility .. still lacks an explosive element to his skating which will need to be addressed in order to be an impact middleman in the NHL ..

- constantly in motion to make a play - won't get handcuffed by quick forwards who attack him while defending .. tends to want to do too much defensively, however his enthusiasm away from the puck is considered a strength .. would benefit from being firmer about holding his position and allowing plays to come to him .. exhibits exceptional shift management - rarely overextending himself and taking himself off the ice at appropriate times .. manufactures offense and produces points, powered by sharp instincts and keen anticipation in the offensive zone .. doesn’t chase opportunities, rather creates them .. the way he utilizes the boards is also a unique trait .. takes smart routes, sustaining a buffer between himself and the boards, which he uses to either slither past a defender or make a back-door pass to the point .. aided by a long stick and tremendous reach ..

- his stickhandling skills seemed to have regressed slightly this season .. usually can gain the zone yet rarely gets adventurous or carries the puck in deep, unless his mates have established position .. easily generates scoring chances down low due to a talent for controlling a puck along the boards and, in one swooping motion, making a no-look, tape-to-tape pass in front .. also adept at sheltering the puck, using his size to either spinoff off opponents or bully his way into a better scoring position and exploit his snap shot ..

- upgrading his faceoff abilities is one area that will need attention .. additionally, he doesn’t boast many 1-on-1 stickhandling moves - even if he is skilled at using linemates as they get into position .. close to 200 pounds now, having added muscle mass, albeit can still easily accommodate another 10-15 pounds .. what sets him apart however is his competitive drive and sheer will to win .. saves his biggest performances when the games matter most - and stands a good chance of earning a spot on Canada's U-20 World Juniors as an underager .. given the opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage, he won gold both times - at the U-17 World Challenge and Ivan Hlinka.