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Analysts Praise Montreal Canadiens Prospects Prior To WJC

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Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens prospects are already receiving a lot of praise from analysts and scouts, and the World Junior Championships haven’t even started yet.

Early on in the preliminary games, a few Montreal Canadiens prospects have stood out due to their exceptional play and the strong statements they’re making at both ends of the ice.

Joshua Roy, who caught NHL Insider Bob McKenzie‘s eye almost immediately.

“Joshua Roy, the Montreal Canadiens 5th round pick. He played in the summer and was a very versatile player. He played on the 1st line, their 2nd line, their 3rd line and even their fourth line. He did just about everything for Team Canada,” said McKenzie talking about Joshua Roy. “He’s already showing signs of doing that again.”

Roy has had a strong showing on a line with Nathan Gaucher (Anaheim) and Zach Dean (Vegas) as Tem Canada’s third line, but, as McKenzie points out, this would be the 1st line on almost any other team.

“Everything he does has a really strong sense of purpose. I’m really impressed with him and I think the Team Canada coaching staff is really impressed with him,” continued McKenzie in his viewpoint on Joshua Roy. “I think that line (Nathan Gaucher, Zach Dean and Joshua Roy) have been really impressive and I think, of the three, Roy has stepped up and done in these two games, exactly what you expect out of him.”

With Roy as a figurehead of Team Canada’s roster, he’s expected to do much of the heavy lifting, but the veteran analyst wouldn’t be surprised to see Roy move up the lineup once the games get tougher, just as they did last summer during the medal round.

On the Flip Side

Lane Hutson has been a force for Team USA so far in the preliminary round, playing a strong two-way game and looking as dynamic and flashy as he usually is in the NCAA.

A local amateur scout on hand for Wednesday night’s game against the Swedes had this to say:

“This kid is absolute dynamite. I don’t see how he doesn’t work his way up the lineup in this tournament and becomes a can’t-miss guy on their top-four,” said the scout. “And it’s not just the offensive ability. It’s the transition; it’s the smart use of his stick in the defensive zone. He does it all.”

FloHockey‘s Chris Peters also applauded Hutson’s ability to play in all situations, used on the 2nd wave of the power play, on the penalty kill and quite often at even strength.

“Both Luke Hughes (NJD) and Lane Hutson (MTL) showed a tremendous ability to get up ice and be part of the attack in a very effective way,” said Peters when discussing Hutson’s ease in transition.

It looks like Hutson is up for a breakout performance with Team USA, making the inevitable encounter between Canada and the Americans that much more interesting for Montreal Canadiens fans.

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