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Midseason Montreal Canadiens Prospect Rankings

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Montreal Canadiens scouts

The Montreal Canadiens have seen a significant amount of their prospects graduate to the NHL this year, meaning it’s time for a new Canadiens Prospect Rankings.

The Canadiens currently have rookies Jordan Harris, Juraj Slafkovsky, Arber Xhekaj and Kaiden Guhle that have made the jump to the NHL and are thus no-longer considered prospects, despite their young age.

It’s opened the door for a wide-open battle between the rest of the Canadiens’ prospects for supremacy atop the prospects rankings within the organization.

Perhaps the best story so far has been the utter domination of Lane Hutson in the NCAA. As of right now, it would be hard to argue against having him as the most promising Canadiens prospect so far.

The 18-year-old defenceman has accumulated seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in just 16 games; which constitutes the best points-per-game average for a defenceman in the entire NCAA.

Then there’s Owen Beck who, albeit not making Team Canada’s roster for the World Junior Championships, remains one of the most complete players in all of major junior right now. Posting 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in just 27 games, Beck has quickly become an elite offensive force for the Mississauga Steelheads, while being one of the best defensive forwards in the OHL.

Following them closely is Justin Barron, who, despite the disappointment of being sent down to the AHL out of training camp, has been having a stellar season for the Laval Rocket. The 21-year-old has been their defacto No. 1 defenceman for a while now and is their unquestioned leader on the backend when it comes to transition and generating offence.

Barron’s notable improvement this season has cemented his positioning within the top-3 of the Canadiens’ prospect list.

Another player turning heads of late is Logan Mailloux. He possesses a lot of the tools necessary to be a top defender in the NHL, but the lack of playing time over the last two seasons has inhibited him from developing his game at the same pace as his peers.

Nonetheless, 10 goals in 24 games for a defenceman is nothing to sneeze at in the OHL. From a pure potential standpoint, Mailloux is likely a top-5 prospect, but some more viewings and some much-needed mileage will be necessary to begin to see clearly as to where he’s headed.

But make no mistake, he remains a very legitimate prospect and his ranking at 7th overall is more a testament to the depth of the Canadiens’ prospect pool, and no slight on him.

Below are the full Midseason Canadiens Prospects Rankings. Let us know what you think.

RankPlayerPosition
1Lane HutsonDefence
2Owen BeckCentre
3Justin BarronDefence
4Sean FarrellWinger
5Filip MesarCentre/Right Wing
6Joshua RoyWinger
7Logan MaillouxDefence
8Riley KidneyCentre
9Jesse YlönenWinger
10Adam EngstromDefence
11Oliver KapanenCentre
12Emil HeinemanWinger
13Jakub DobesGoaltender
14William TrudeauDefence
15Jayden StrubleDefence
16Cedrick GuindonCentre
17Vinzenz RohrerCentre
18Mattias NorlinderDefence
19Rafaël Harvery-PinardWinger
20Xavier SimoneauWinger

 

 

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John Stone

great list.. but I would move roy to 4th. Hes been dominating at a pace unseen by a canadiens prospect in ages. but with the rest i agree

Pierre B.

Roy made the final selection of Team Canada, not Beck. By their criteria, Roy is better than Beck today. So I’m curious to know what are your criteria. What’s important for you? Is it potential, progression or readiness? How does your criteria differ from those of your colleague Marc Dumont who publishes the Canadiens prospect power rankings weekly. Last week, he had Barron at #11, Ylönen and Heineman outside of his top-15 (you rank them higher); Davidson at #8, Guindon at #10 and Rohrer at #12 (you rank them lower). It is sad that neither you nor your colleague included Primeau. Is it because he has already played 18 games and started for 15 in the NHL? Or is it because all the other prospects are better?

Pierre B.

Thanks for replying to my comment. I really enjoy reading opinions of different experts as understanding consensus and disagreements helps me form my own opinion. Readiness and potential are two different criteria. Barron has just been recalled by the Canadiens. Barron could be said to be even better than Hutson now as he can play in the NHL, and he’s scheduled to play his 8th NHL game in Tampa Bay tomorrow. While Hutson may have the potential to be better in a few years from now, it is still uncertain that he will. However, what he showed in the NCAA is extremely encouraging in this regard. Very few prospects have nothing to improve when they become rookies. How a prospect progresses before being a rookie and after is often telling of their future career. But the challenges at each level are different and once on an NHL roster, a player must keep earning his time on ice or risks being surpassed in the depth chart. Time will tell which prospects will emerge as bona fide NHL players, but in the meantime, it should be encouraging to have enough promising prospects to rank a top-20 and still wonder if we left someone out who at least deserves an honourable mention. 

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