The Montreal Canadiens had five prospects impress the fanbase and leave a great first impression with their on-ice play during development camp this week.
As this was the first development camp in three years for the Canadiens, fans were getting their first looks at most of the Canadiens’ prospects drafted over the last three drafts. The prospects were primed to show the Montreal Canadiens management team what they were made of, and they certainly didn’t disappoint, as this development camp had the fastest and most intense tempo of any in recent memory.
Lane Hutson was perhaps the most intriguing defenceman in the 2022 NHL Draft, as his explosive skating and exceptional playmaking skills are absolutely off the charts. He plays a game predicated on carrying the puck up the ice with incredible speed; making him highly effective for both zone exits and zone entries in open ice.
Hutson immediately set the tone at the Montreal Canadiens development camp with his trademark high-tempo intensity and exceptional skating, making him the most eye-catching prospect at camp along with Juraj Slafkovsky. He was the most visually striking player on the ice for every drill; showing his top-level talent when it comes to skating, puck possession and Hockey IQ during every single drill. When the teams would break off for scrimmages or game-like drills; Hutson didn’t shy away from anyone; even going toe-to-toe with Juraj Slafkovsky and coming out on top in one-on-one battles.
— TVA Sports (@TVASports) July 13, 2022
All eyes were on Juraj Slafkosvky at development camp as fans flocked to the Montreal Canadiens practice facility in droves to see the new crop of Canadiens prospects. The young man showed off all his skills during the on-ice drills and scrimmages and was notably effective at 3-on-3. He wowed the Canadiens faithful with a few fun moves in tight, all while towering over almost everyone present at the event.
He showed off his quick hands and puck protection skills during the drill and stood out when it came to setting up his teammates for chances inside the slot. He personally didn’t feel like he had a great camp, but that goes to show you how high his standards for himself truly are.
— s (@ronliin) July 13, 2022
Sean Farrell was arguably the most developed prospect at the Montreal Canadiens development camp, and it showed. His skating was instantly noticeable, as were his edges; as he combined the two to evade his opponents on the ice and make space for himself. It showed that he had played against men last season, as he was surprisingly combative along the boards with the puck and always gave a second effort on every play to secure possession of the puck.
During the scrimmages, Farrell was at his best; as he used his speed and vision to find his teammates on the ice whenever he didn’t have an option to shoot. Farrell is primarily a playmaker, but he showed his ability to dangle on the ice and score some pretty goals in tight; a skill that will be necessary for him at the next level.
Petite séquence intéressante ici…
D’abord, Sean Farrell se débarrasse de son couvreur et trouve Slafkovsky
— Kevin Vallée (@KevinMVallee) July 12, 2022
Emil Heineman had a very encouraging development camp; as he looked to have a good jump in his step on the ice; all while being very shifty and effective with the puck in tight. He’s very good at coming up the ice at full speed and immediately cutting into the middle with authority; allowing him to take his opponents flat-footed. He showed that he could attack the play with a lot of energy, all while making the best play on the ice. His decision-making and use of teammates were impressive, especially in a camp where most of the players haven’t ever played together.
He was also able to impress with his deceptively good puck skills in scrimmages and even during this dandy of a shootout attempt. Headed to the Laval Rocket this fall, it will be interesting to see how Heineman adapts to the North-American style of play, but, if he can remain healthy, he has all the tools to make an impact.
QUEL BUT de Emil Heineman en tirs de barrage 🏒
— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) July 13, 2022
Filip Mesar was immediately noticeable due to his skating and his relentless motor during every drill or scrimmage. He was constantly in motion and looking to gain possession of the puck, while never shying away from getting physical along the boards with much bigger opposition. Mesar processes the game quite quickly and it allowed him to make good decisions with the puck; helping him set up a few teammates for easy goals during scrimmages. He attacks open ice very well and it forces defencemen to back up very quickly, opening up a lot of space for himself and his teammates on the rush, a skill that will become invaluable at the NHL level.
Mesar’s play was impressive when it came to scrimmages, as he was rarely in the wrong position and was finding his teammates all over the ice. He may not be the biggest player at 5’10, but he certainly had the best motor on the ice. The Canadiens were also impressed with him and signed him to an entry-level contract on Thursday in order to keep him in North America next season to get acclimated to the smaller rinks and tougher style of play. Judging by the way he handled contact at development camp, it shouldn’t take him too long to adapt and make a difference, wherever the Canadiens decide to send him.
— Martin Toth-Vaňo (@Totik96) July 12, 2022