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Montreal Canadiens

Top-3 Canadiens Prospects In Danger Of Falling Down Depth Chart



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have many young prospects surpassing expectations, putting older prospects at risk of falling down the depth chart.

With some intriguing seasons from youngsters like Filip Mesar, Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, Lane Hutson and Jakub Dobeš, just to name a few, some Canadiens prospects need to hit another gear pretty soon, or face the risk of getting surpassed.

Mattias Norlinder

Norlinder has already seemingly been leapfrogged by Arber Xhekaj on the team’s depth chart, and is also in danger of seeing youngsters like William Trudeau and, eventually, Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom, take on bigger roles with the organization that may render him expendable.

The 22-year-old was once pegged as the club’s most promising offensive defenceman, but consecutive years plagued with injuries have slowed down his rapid post-draft progression curve.

The Canadiens don’t have much room on the left side of their defence in the short term, and might have even less in the long term, making it very difficult to see where Norlinder will fit within the structure in the future.

With younger players now climbing through the ranks and earning their entry-level contracts, Norlinder will have to greatly pick up his offensive pace or risk falling behind.

Cayden Primeau

Cayden Primeau has had the benefit of little competition to the status of the heir apparent for the Canadiens’ No.1 goaltender role over the years.

The previous management team routinely favoured Primeau over other prospects like Michael McNiven, but, at age 23, Primeau is running out of time to prove that he could be a consistent force in the AHL, let alone in the NHL.

After an excellent playoff run with the Laval Rocket last spring, he’s faltered out of the gate this season, posting a 0.893 save percentage and a 3.53 goals-against average.

With prospect Jakub Dobeš continuing to put up stellar numbers in the NCAA with Ohio State, a jump to the pros may not be too far for the 21-year-old and that’s bad news for Primeau.

There’s also the risk that the Canadiens trade their way out of this situation as well; which would all but seal the deal for Primeau’s long-term future in Montreal.

Jesse Ylönen

It’s worth stating that Ylönen has played much better as of late, but you would still hope that he’d be a prime AHL player by this point in his career.

We’ve seen instances over the last three seasons where Ylönen has gone on a point-per-game hot streak, but then slowly regresses. He has the potential to be a top 9 forward in the NHL, but he needs to show more of what he’s been doing recently for more extended periods.

The former 33rd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft is stuck behind some pretty difficult depth on the Montreal Canadiens’ main roster, but hasn’t shown the consistent offensive ability that one would expect from a 23-year-old drafted just outside the 1st round.

With Filip Mesar, Sean Farrell and Joshua Roy all coming up the pipeline, Ylönen will have to get going and impose himself in the play with more regularity if he is to have more success and ensure his spot in the organization’s future.

After an underwhelming start to the season, Ylönen has put up 11 points in his last 12 games; showing that he’s very capable of having offensive flashes in a season.

Perhaps, what Ylönen needs is to be given a shot at the NHL level to prove he can make the next step, as it seems he’s at the crossroads between the AHL and the NHL and simply needs to show the Canadiens what he can do under Martin St-Louis.

Time will tell.