After a Cinderella playoff run to the Stanley Cup Remaining, the Habs are having a season of turmoil.
It began in the summertime as controversy surrounded the staff with their resolution to reveal franchise goalie Cary Value within the enlargement draft. Additionally they made a closely criticized resolution to pick Logan Mailloux within the first spherical after he was convicted of against the law and requested to be faraway from the draft. The staff then misplaced their Captain Shea Weber to a profession ending damage. The staff received off to a horrible begin which led to the top of the Marc Bergevin period as GM.
It isn’t a whole dumpster fireplace for Montreal, nonetheless. This season has seen the return of Jonathan Drouin from private depart, and the staff has a number of promising gamers which have graduated to the principle roster. A pair of 21-year-old gamers are taking part in large roles, Nick Suzuki is main the staff in scoring and Alexander Romanov is taking part in top-four minutes with the absence of Weber and Joel Edmundson on account of accidents. Different gamers underneath 25 and attempting to crack the roster embody Ryan Poehling and Cole Caufield.
Montreal has a very good younger roster with gamers evolving into stars with a very good supporting forged coming down the prospect pipeline regardless of a disappointing 2021 Entry Draft, however a return to the Stanley Cup perhaps just a few years away because the group regroups with a brand new Common Supervisor.
- Cole Caufield, RW – Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Drafted: 2019 spherical one, 15th general by Montreal Canadiens
Caufield had a monster 2020-21 season as he dominated the NCAA with 30 targets and 52 factors with the Wisconsin Badgers and successful the Gold with USA on the WJC notching 5 factors. He received the Hobey Baker because the NCAA Finest Participant and signed his ELC after the school season.
After simply two AHL video games he scored three targets and was recalled to the NHL. He actually discovered his recreation within the playoffs taking part in on a line with Nick Suzuki with 12 factors in 20 playoff video games. His playoff efficiency had all indicators pointing to an early favourite for a Calder favourite rookie season. Nonetheless, he’s struggling to keep up his playoff magic and was reassigned to the AHL for a six-game stint to get his mojo again.
With hopes of a Calder trophy nomination trying like a distant reminiscence, the upside of Caufield turning into a future 50 purpose scorer stays.
- Kaiden Guhle, D – Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Drafted: 2020 spherical one, 16th general by Montreal Canadiens
Montreal might have a future primary defender in Guhle. An damage and the pandemic restricted his taking part in time final yr to simply three AHL video games, to WHL video games and 7 video games for Canada on the WJ as an 18-year-old. Guhle had a very good displaying on the Canadiens improvement camp and coaching camp this summer time earlier than heading again within the WHL.
Just lately concerned in a deal the had him transfer from Prince Albert Raiders to the contending Edmonton Oil Kings ought to lend the chance for a protracted playoff run. Guhle will play a a lot larger function with Canada on the 2022 WJC as a top-pairing defender searching for one other Medal.
Guhle has measurement, power, and is a really bodily participant. He’s a robust skater with a very good motor that permits him to shut gaps and canopy a variety of ice rapidly. His offensive recreation is one space that will not translate as elite on the NHL stage, however it’s nonetheless creating. He joins the frenzy and has a heavy level shot however might lack NHL-level offensive chops. In his closing yr of junior, he’ll flip professional subsequent season and will not be lengthy for the NHL given his sound defensive play and bodily improvement already.
- Cayden Primeau, G – Laval Rocket (AHL)
Drafted: 2017 spherical seven, 199th general by Montreal Canadiens
Since turning professional, his improvement has arguably declined or at the very least plateaued. I might argue in opposition to that. Primeau had a stellar NCAA profession at Northeastern filled with accolades together with back-to-back Hockey East Goaltender of the 12 months and All-Star. In his sophomore season, he received the Mike Richter Award as Prime NCAA Goalie and again stopped USA to a WJC Silver Medal.
His rookie season within the AHL was spectacular with a 17-11-4 report that included a two-game NHL debut. The pandemic restricted his taking part in time like everybody final season. Primeau nonetheless posted a successful report of 11-4-0 with a GAA of two.10 and had one other four-game NHL recall. His improvement continues this yr within the AHL because the Rocket beginning goalie however his numbers are slipping barely and he has seen three extra NHL video games. It isn’t unusual for goalies to have ups and downs of their improvement earlier than they set up themselves and at 22-years-old Primeau remains to be on monitor to inherit the beginning function within the Montreal web from Carey Value.
Maybe the expectation of Primeau turning into the following Habs legend goalie like Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden or Carey Value could also be a attain, however he’s trying like an NHL beginning goalie.
- Mattias Norlinder, D – Laval Rocket (AHL)
Drafted: 2019 spherical three, 64th general by Montreal Canadiens
One of many greatest risers within the system is Norlinder. Initially missed within the 2018 draft, Montreal chosen him as an overaged within the 2019 draft. His breakout season was final yr as a rookie within the SHL his improvement accelerated. Regardless of a number of accidents, he was in a position to play in 37 video games for Frolunda and was the groups main scorer within the playoffs with 5 factors in seven video games.
Montreal put pen to paper with Norlinder signing him to his ELC and introduced him to North America. The large Swede impressed in camp however was assigned to the AHL to regulate to the smaller ice. His play within the AHL has been adequate to earn a recall to the NHL the place he made his debut and has performed in six video games with one help.
Norlinder will not be as bodily as Guhle or Romanov however is a great participant that strikes the puck properly and thinks the sport rapidly. His offensive upside could also be restricted to a 3rd pairing capability, however he ought to be capable of play a number of minutes on the NHL stage in a number of conditions. Montreal shall be affected person permitting Norlinder to play the majority of his rookie season within the AHL. If he’s prepared for an NHL function subsequent yr, Montreal has a number of left-shot defensemen with expiring contracts that would make method for him.
- Jesse Ylonen, RW – Laval Rocket (AHL)
Drafted: 2018 spherical two, 35th general by Montreal Canadiens
One of many extra underrated prospects is the son for former NHL participant Juha Ylonen. Jesse noticed restricted ice time taking part in as an adolescent within the Liiga, however we received a glimpse of his potential when the twin citizen selected to play for Finland on the 2019 WJC successful the Gold Medal and posting six factors in seven video games as a key participant for Suomi.
Final yr he got here to North America and performed a key function for Laval posting 17 factors in 29 video games and making his NHL debut as properly. Shut to a degree per recreation in his second AHL season, he has earned one other recall to Montreal and recorded his first profession NHL purpose on December 12th in opposition to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ylonen is technically a wonderful skater that drives play and assaults with velocity. Whereas not a burner, his agility and quickness are above common and his capacity to make performs at velocity makes him harmful offensively. Ylonen seemingly has a ceiling just like his father’s as an excellent third-line participant with offensive upside. He’s near NHL prepared and certain breaks the roster full-time subsequent yr.
- Jordan Harris, D – Northeastern College (NCAA)
Drafted: 2018 spherical three, 71st general by Montreal Canadiens
In his fourth and closing season of NCAA hockey, Harris has developed into a top quality all-around participant. He’s a dependable defensive shutdown participant.
Harris is a cell skater that has good agility, and he makes use of his skating to maneuver gamers away from hazard areas. His lack of measurement and physicality makes this an important talent.
As a senior, he’ll look to develop his offensive recreation earlier than his NCAA profession expires and he graduates to the professional stage. Montreal might want to signal him instantly and burn a yr of his contract or danger shedding him as a free agent in August to a different group.
- Sean Farrell, C/LW – Harvard College (NCAA)
Drafted: 2020 spherical 4, 124th general by Montreal Canadiens
Drafted out of the USHL after main the league in assists with 41, the Harvard commit was pressured to return for one more season within the USHL because the Ivy League didn’t play on account of COVID. Again with the Chicago Metal, Farrell had a monster season as a 19-year-old main the league in assists (72) and factors (101) and successful the USHL and USA Hockey Junior Participant of the 12 months Awards and main the Metal to a Clark Cup Championship. With Harvard resuming play, Farrell is in his freshman season and his offensive manufacturing has translated properly to a better stage with the Crimson as he has 14 factors in his first 11 video games.
The undersized winger is an distinctive playmaker, he makes sneaky good passes to gamers others wouldn’t assume to strive. He makes use of deception and fakes to make time and area to seek out open gamers or open ice. His shot is nice and nonetheless underneath improvement as he expands his offensive arsenal.
Skating and lack of measurement are the 2 foremost obstacles he might want to overcome to play within the NHL. Farrell can spend time within the health club within the NCAA including the power he might want to play on the professional stage. Farrell will want extra improvement time in Harvard after which some AHL time earlier than he may very well be NHL prepared, however he has the talent and imaginative and prescient to supply as a top-six winger.
- Jan Mysak, LW – Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Drafted: 2020 spherical two, 48th general by Montreal Canadiens
Mysak joined Hamilton midway via the season in his draft yr. He instantly had an influence scoring over a degree per recreation. With the OHL in lockdown, he performed in 22 AHL video games with Laval and struggled with solely two targets.
He has additionally produced properly on the WJC with 5 factors in two tournaments. As a 19-year-old he shall be in his third WJC for the Czech Republic and shall be a frontrunner on the staff taking part in an enormous function. This yr he’s again within the OHL with Hamilton and is an elite participant within the league and an Assistant Captain on the Bulldogs.
Mysak has good measurement, performs a bodily recreation, and is powerful on the forecheck. Mysak’s greatest offensive weapon is his shot, and he has management and work ethic that ought to provide him loads of alternatives to make the NHL in time. Mysak will return to the AHL subsequent yr and might want to present that his offense can translate to the professional stage.
- Jayden Struble, D – Northeastern College (NCAA)
Drafted: 2019 spherical two, 46th general by Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens personal two defensemen on the Huskies, Harris and Struble. Each are more likely to flip professional after the present season and be a part of Laval within the AHL. With Guhle, Harris and Struble all doubtlessly becoming a member of the Rocket subsequent yr, minutes could also be laborious to come back by. For Struble, his foremost competitors for minutes perhaps with Guhle as each provide related abilities.
At 6-0 and 194 Struble has common measurement at greatest for an NHL defenseman, however he performs a imply and gritty bodily recreation. Struble performs a two-way recreation, he has some offensive upside, however the major focus of his recreation is to hit the opposite staff’s gamers into submission. As a junior, his offensive manufacturing is taking a success and it could be good to see that side of his recreation present some improvement and enchancment on the NCAA stage, slightly than regression.
- Josh Brook, D – Laval Rocket (AHL)
Drafted: 2017 spherical two, 56th general by Montreal Canadiens
The 2017 second-round decide has proven regular improvement since his draft yr. His manufacturing within the WHL reached properly over a degree per recreation with 16 targets and 75 factors in 59 video games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and he represented Canada on the WJC in 2019 as properly.
As a rookie within the AHL the next season he slot in properly with a modest however respectable 13 factors in 60 video games chopping his enamel in Laval. The next marketing campaign he confirmed robust improvement with 15 factors in solely 33 video games taking part in a much bigger function.
Brook has but to play this season on account of damage and can return to the AHL as soon as wholesome the place he may have an necessary season of improvement to maneuver up the depth chart earlier than he’s surpassed by the Canadiens depth within the prospect pool