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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens Prospects That Have Taken The Biggest Strides



Montreal Canadiens Prospects

The Montreal Canadiens saw a handful of prospects take their development to the next level this season, but four of them stood out above the rest as the most promising prospects in the organization.

Four prospects really stood out as youngsters that took their games to the next level this season in Joshua Roy, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj and Sean Farrell. Their development was exceptionally steep this season, taking major steps in rounding out their game to make them essential to the success of their respective teams.

Joshua Roy

Joshua Roy‘s journey has been full of ups and downs in his young career. Going from being selected first overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL Draft in 2019 to playing third-line minutes as a 17-year-old, to being traded to a new club before his 18th birthday; Roy has had to surmount a ton of expectations, criticism, and obstacles on his way to becoming a top player in the QMJHL.

Despite all the adversity, Roy was able to express himself offensively in a far more creative way this season, thanks in large part to an improvement in his fitness and skating. Those changes helped him stand out on the ice, and especially on the scoresheet. In what was one of the most productive seasons in the last 20 years for an 18-year-old in the QMJHL, Roy put up a staggering 51 goals and 68 assists for 119 points in just 66 games.

The leading scorer in the QMJHL powered his team to the playoffs when most had the Phoenix projected to finish near the bottom of the QMJHL standings at the start of the season. He continued his torrid pace in the QMJHL playoffs, potting eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in only 11 games.  He even joined the Laval Rocket on their Calder Cup Playoffs run, suiting up for one game down the stretch when injuries struck and didn’t look out of place at all, despite not being eligible for AHL play.

Roy’s exceptional season earned him some serious points with Hockey Canada, who have invited him to their annual development camp in July. He was one of the final cuts for the 2022 edition of the World Junior Championships, and could be called on to replace some of the top prospects that will abstain from participating. If he’s not wearing the maple leaf in a few weeks, he’ll more than likely be doing so in December for the 2023 edition of the World Juniors; which would be a true testament to his perseverance and tenacity.


Kaiden Guhle

The Montreal Canadiens prospect has grown by leaps and bounds since his trade to the Oil Kings prior to the World Junior Championships in December. Under new head coach Brad Lauer, Guhle has been utilizing his speed and his reach far more, especially on the rush, to push the tempo of the game up the ice very quickly, often catching the opposition off-guard, like the play below. He was encouraged to utilize his impressive skating and puck-carrying ability to drive more offence and hold onto the puck a little longer than he used to. The result speaks for itself, as Guhle became a far more balanced defenceman, capable of bringing an impact in all aspects of the game, not just defensively.

During his exceptional run in the WHL playoffs, Guhle was able to notch eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 19 games, on top of being a force on the defensive end. His eighth goal, the insurance marker in the championship-winning game, set a record for the most amount of goals recorded by an Oil Kings defenceman during the playoffs.

Kaiden Guhle‘s improved offensive play, clutch goal scoring and sound defensive ability earned him MVP honours during the WHL Playoffs. In being named MVP, Guhle became the first defenceman to win the award since former Edmonton Oil King Griffin Reinhart won it eight years ago.

As Guhle is set to join the Montreal Canadiens at camp next season, the growth in his game and experience acquired during this impressive run will only help him on his path to becoming an impact defenceman in the NHL.

Sean Farrell

Sean Farrell played in his first season for Harvard this year as a sophomore, and put up an impressive 28 points in 24 games. During this time with Harvard, Farrell showed an ability to rise about tight-checking from bigger and meaner opponents. His remarkable season in the NCAA earned him an invite to the Beijing Olympics in February, where he looked like one of the most dangerous American forwards on the ice the whole tournament. He led Team USA in scoring with three goals and three assists for six points in just four games. As the tournament went on, Farrell began to pick up his pacing and really stood out as the games got tighter. He ranks 2nd in scoring for forwards on Team USA so far during the World Championships, posting two goals and four assists for six points in nine games.

He seemed to have impressed the decision-makers at USA Hockey, as represented his country at the senior level yet again, this time at the World Championships. The Montreal Canadiens’ 4th-round pick continued to impress since being drafted and his experience at the international will serve him well as he continues to ready himself for the jump to pro hockey. Although he attended the Montreal Canadiens’ development camp, Farrell is likely to return to the NCAA next season. He cannot sign a contract of any sort with the Montreal Canadiens or Laval Rocket should his season end early, as it would disqualify him from NCAA play next season.


Arber Xhekaj


Arber Xhekaj went from undrafted free agent to one of the most intriguing prospects in the Montreal Canadiens’ organization. The 6’4 defenceman has been a revelation this year due to his exceptional progression throughout the season; earning him praise from draft experts like Craig Button along the way. Starting the season off in Kitchener, Xhekaj was tasked with doing it all and he thrived in the process. He was able to show off the improvements in his mobility, his decision-making and even his offensive abilities. It’s not for nothing that the Hamilton Bulldogs targeted and traded for him at the OHL trade deadline, as the key to completing theit defensive brigade.

With Hamilton, Xhekaj made it nearly impossible to enter the zone while he was on the ice. If an opposing forward was able to get the puck by him for a dump-and-chase, they were met with consequences along the boards. He was the Bulldog’s top defenceman on route to an OHL Championship; scoring important goals and coming up clutch in the most important moments. Xhekaj was at his best as the stakes got bigger and bigger, and that bodes very well for a youngster that is set to turn pro and join the ranks of the Montreal Canadiens. Next season will prove to be a very important one for the young man, as he looks to establish himself with the Laval Rocket and eventually earn a call-up to the Montreal Canadiens down the line.


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I look forward to the world Jrs. Roy , Possibly Kidney, Our 2nd pick. I don’t think Guhle will play. And the rest of our picks who will play