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Canadiens Will Have Important Decision To Make On Filip Mesar

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens will have a very important decision to make as to where Filip Mesar will play next season, but is that decision already made?

On a most recent episode of 32 Thoughts, NHL Insider Jeff Marek alluded to Mesar eventually being loaned to the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, who currently own his CHL rights.

“Here’s a little insider scoop for you. Filip Mesar, who was Montreal’s second 1st round pick; look for him to join the Kitchener Rangers after Canadiens training camp,” said Marek on the future of Mesar this season. “I know they’re a rebuilding team. There’s going to be a lot of young kids on this team (Montreal Canadiens).”

When asked where he envisions Filip Mesar playing next season during a recent press conference, general manager Kent Hughes wanted to let the youngster dictate what level he was ready for before making a decision.

“I think it’s something we’ll evaluate over time. We’ll let him show us what he can do. We want him to continue to have success offensively. If we can’t offer this in Laval, we’ll see about Kitchener,” said Kent Hughes on Filip Mesar’s future next season.

 

Montreal Canadiens Have Options With Mesar

Like Juraj Slafkovsky, Mesar is a 1st round pick, which means that the Montreal Canadiens now have the liberty of choosing where he plays next season. That means that Mesar can play in the AHL if the Montreal Canadiens deem him ready. The 20-year-old rule that inhibits CHL players from playing in the AHL would not be a problem for Mesar, as he was drafted out of Europe; giving him a distinct advantage over his peers if he were ready for that kind of a jump.

A more interesting avenue could be Canadian Major Junior, with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Should Mesar be loaned to Kitchener, he would get prime usage on a nightly basis and would instantly become their most prominent forward right from the jump. It would make for a very interesting environment where Mesar would be able to further refine his offensive game in a less physically demanding setting in his first season in North America.

On the flip side, the forward situation in Laval is going to be incredibly crowded, just as it already is on the big club at the moment. The Laval Rocket will have trouble finding room to play all of the Canadiens’ forward prospects due to the high number of AHL contracts they’ve handed out this summer. Prospects like Jan Mysak might even have trouble getting consistent minutes to start due to the high number of AHL veterans on the team. The competition will be fierce, but Mysak is more physically ready and mature enough to handle the rigours of the AHL game and much more versatile at this stage in his career.

For someone like Mesar, who is two years younger and 15 pounds lighter, it would be a waste to see him playing under 13 minutes a game at this junction with Laval in a non-offensive role. It would be a very logical choice to see Mesar eventually be loaned to Kitchener, where he could play upwards of 18 minutes a game, and also be made available for Slovakia at the upcoming World Junior Championships. We saw how beneficial the OHL was for Mysak’s development with the Hamilton Bulldogs, and Mesar could stand to benefit just as greatly; all while growing his game at a sustainable pace.

A high-octane and speedy winger like Mesar could likely light up the OHL, and perhaps that is the right environment to try and develop a player whom you view as a future top-six player at the next level.

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Curtis Ault

Could be the way to go if he isn’t going to get the ice time in Laval. Sometimes people forget these young men are only 18 years old when drafted. A year in the OHL might be the right option. It’s not going to hurt his development.

mikeysl

definately Kitchner. Patience …let these guys develop at levels they can excell with TONS of minutes. Talking about Mysak not getting minutes is crazy. He should be #2 center in Laval, With both PK and PP minutes. I know everyone is raving about Beck (looks really good) Mysak is more likely to be Danault 2.0

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