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Montreal Canadiens Make an Investment in Player Development

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens announced today that they have appointed Adam Nicholas as the new director of hockey development for the club. There had been whispers of the Canadiens’ interest in him early in the week, as reported by Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, and now the deal has been finalized. General manager Kent Hughes and executive vice-president Jeff Gorton have spoken at length about bolstering their development department and they did just that today with the hire of Nicholas, which is hopefully one of many.

The Montreal Canadiens had been plagued for many years for not having a robust and organized developmental department, something Geoff Molson highlighted as being a priority when he spoke to the media Dec 3 after relieving Marc Bergevin of his duties as general manager of the club.

“We have to make sure we have a system of development that’s solid,” said Molson. “We’re looking all over the organization and that’s one department (development) that we identified as a place that could be improved.”

Jeff Gorton had not shied away from stating that his priority was going to be to add to the Montreal Canadiens shockingly small player development staff, and the hiring of Nicholas seems to be in line with what he had laid out as a plan during his first press conference as EVP of the Montreal Canadiens on Dec 3.

“Player development, I think that they have a couple of gentlemen in place that are doing a good job. I think that we need more.” said Jeff Gorton. “The way the game has gone, the way these kids are, they need help in a lot of ways as soon as we draft them or sign them. I’d love to build that out a little better, too.”

The hiring of Nicholas is a step in the right direction for this new regime, as it looks to maximize the potential of the many prospects that will be coming through the ranks in the coming years. Nicholas previously worked for the Toronto Maple Leafs as a skills development consultant since early 2019. He is also very familiar with Montreal Canadiens’ prospect Sean Farrell, as he held a similar role with the Chicago Steel in the USHL between 2019 to 2022. He’s the founder and owner of Stride Envy, a company that specializes in player skill development, specifically skating techniques.

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