The Montreal Canadiens have been patient in trying to decide the future of their goaltending, but they may need to look outside the organization sooner than later.
Cayden Primeau has unfortunately been unable to put up consistent performances so far this season, which will prompt the Canadiens to look elsewhere to determine the future of such a vital position. The Canadiens bought themselves a little time by extending Jake Allen for an extra two years, but they’ll need to have a successor in place and ready to take No. 1 duties before then.
There are a few potential candidates across the league that fit the age group of the Canadiens’ core that could be worth targeting in any eventual trade. It would be easy to go for someone like Spencer Knight or Carter Hart, but they’re already the present of their existing organizations; meaning the Canadiens would need to go for some younger tenders.
Here are three of the best options:
Devon Levi would be the ideal fit from the Buffalo Sabres.
General Manager Kent Hughes and head coach Martin St-Louis are extremely familiar with him, as he plays with their sons at Northeastern University. He’s got experience playing behind Canadiens youngsters like Jordan Harris and Jayden Struble; and he’s a local born player to boot.
And yet, all of those things are details compared to the truth of it all: he’s one of the best goaltending prospects out there right now.
Levi would provide the Canadiens with a bonafide, can’t-miss heir apparent in nets, and could jump to pro at the end of the season, after the Northeastern Huskies finish their season.
He’s not too far away from the NHL, but possibly a little too far for the Sabres, who will be looking to compete for the playoffs sooner, rather than later.
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) November 13, 2022
Dustin Wolf might be the victim of an unfortunate numbers game with the Calgary Flames , with the club in win-now mode and having invested significant term and money in Jacob Markstrom to bring them to the promised land. To make matters worse for Wolf, the Flames just extended backup Dan Vladar for another two seasons as well.
Wolf has had a very good start to his pro career since coming over from the WHL and will be knocking on the door to the NHL sooner than some believe. The Canadiens and Flames have linked up a few times over the last few months in trades, so it wouldn’t be outlandish to see that partnership be rekindled, as Wolf would fit in exactly with what the Canadiens are looking for in a goaltending prospect of the future.
With expensive contracts given to other veterans like Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri, time is of the essence for the Flames, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Wolf potentially used as trade bait down the line if the Flames want to add a piece for an eventual Cup run this upcoming season.
The Calgary Flames have been confirmed to have had interest in some of the Montreal Canadiens forwards in the past, pêrhaps a deal can be struck with Wolf as a centrepiece.
📹 Dustin Wolf doin’ what he does! pic.twitter.com/Rvg4I8JkzJ
— Calgary Wranglers (@AHLWranglers) November 20, 2022
Lukas Dostal is perhaps not a known name yet in the NHL, but he soon will be. After putting up impressive numbers the last two years, Dostal has been even more impressive season for the San Diego Gulls, despite the team in front of him being mediocre.
Dostal projects as a very capable starting goalie with some high upside that is just waiting for his opportunity to take the reigns of an NHL team. His only major problem with becoming a No.1 goaltender is that the Anaheim Ducks already have a very good one in John Gibson, who is under contract for another four years.
It would be surprising to see the Ducks continue to toil in the bottom of the NHL standings with such an elite crop of young players coming in, and Dostal could be used as a trade chip to bring in some more talent to push the Ducks over the top. That is when the Canadiens could eventually strike to see if Dostal could be had.
Lukáš Dostál stopped 27 of 29 shots he faced.
And this …😳🙃pic.twitter.com/N2kRXTTJXr
— Matěj Hejda (@matej_hejda88) November 12, 2022
HM: Yaroslav Askarov
The Nashville Predators will likely not give away any prospects of note until they turn their fortunes around on a regular basis and put themselves in a position to compete consistently.
However, if Askarov is ever made available, you can bet you bottom dollar that the Montreal Canadiens would be on it.