It was a very interesting week when it comes to the players in the Montreal Canadiens prospect pool.
Following a strong showing at the 2023 World Junior Championship, several prospects were given the week off, whereas a couple of exciting young players were traded by their respective CHL teams.
And for the first time since the inaugural Canadiens prospect rankings, a goaltender features in the top 10.
Let’s get right into it and take a look at the current rankings.
The Canadiens’ prospect power rankings are based on the overall season, as well as the most recent week of action. Factors such as the strength of a prospect’s team, the league in which they play, their age, and expectations related to their draft position will also be considered. Prospects playing in professional leagues based in Europe, will, however, be included.
Week 1: Lane Hutson Takes Top Spot
Week 2: Owen Beck Jumps To First
Week 3: Lots Of Movement In The Top 10
Week 4: Lane Hutson Back In First Place
Week 7: Filip Mesar Shines
Week 8: Owen Beck Takes Over First Place
Week 9: Filip Mesar Makes A Big Jump
Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings Week 10
1. Owen Beck, Centre, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 18
Last Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A Season Totals: 24 GP, 16 G, 23 A, 39 PTS
Previous Ranking: 1st
Beck did not take part in any games this week, but it was for two very good reasons.
First off, Beck celebrated winning a gold medal with Team Canada recently, fulfilling one of his hockey dreams in the process.
Secondly, Beck was traded from the Mississauga Steelheads to the Peterborough Petes for a king’s ransom.
Seeing as Beck is only 18 years old, the trade does lead us to connote there’s a prevailing doubt the cerebral centre will take part in the 2023-24 OHL season.
In other words, there’s a healthy chance Beck will be playing professional hockey next season.
Beck’s first game with the Petes takes place on Thursday, as Peterborough takes on the Sarnia Sting.
2. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 18 GP, 7 G, 13 A, 20 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 3rd (+1)
After a deceivingly good showing at the World Junior Championship, Lane Hutson returned to the NCAA where he promptly picked up where he left off.
The talented rookie defenceman earned a point in both Boston University games, maintaining his impressive scoring pace which has not dipped below a point per game this season.
There is one criticism to be made regarding his last two games, and it involves his shot totals.
Hutson only managed one shot per game against Michigan State and Air Force, well below his regular shooting pace, which is much closer to three shots per game.
3. Sean Farrell, C/LW, Harvard University (NCAA). Drafted: 124th overall (2020), Age: 21
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 2 A Season Totals: 15 GP, 7 G, 15 A, 22 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 4th (+1)
Farrell had an excellent showing against Princeton, picking up two crucial assists in Harvard’s 4-3 comeback win over Princeton.
His encouraging scoring pace aside, Farrell continues to show great anticipation and awareness in all three zones, pointing to a player that has the potential to become an incredibly well-rounded asset for the Canadiens.
He leads the Crimson in scoring and is one of the driving forces behind their impressive record this season (10-4-1).
4. Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A Season Totals: 26 GP, 18 G, 25 A, 43 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 5th (+1)
Roy is yet to return to action following his excellent performance at the 2023 World Junior Championship, which put his versatility and progression in the limelight.
Even though he has shown he has the ability to kick it up a notch when the going gets tough, Roy has looked somewhat bored with the level of competition in the QMJHL this season.
Ideally, he can carry the momentum from his gold-medal-winning performance at the World Juniors to an excellent run down the stretch of the regular season, as well as a potential Memorial Cup run in the playoffs.
5. Riley Kidney, Centre, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Drafted: 63rd overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 1 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 33 GP, 15 G, 33 A, 48 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 9th (+4)
December was not kind to Kidney. Not only did he pick up a minor injury during Team Canada’s WJC selection camp, but he was also among the last cuts on the team, which meant he would not have the opportunity to represent his country in Halifax, which happens to be his hometown.
But Kidney did not dwell on the disappointing, using a blockbuster trade to the Gatineau Olympiques as an opportunity to shine.
And shine he did.
Kidney earned three points, including the game-winning goal in the Olympiques’ 4-3 win over the QMJHL-leading Quebec Remparts.
And with that great performance in the books, he sees the biggest jump among Canadiens prospects this week.
Now that Kidney is playing for a team that has a chance at a healthy playoff run, it will be interesting to gauge his progress, seeing as he will no longer be the center of the opposition’s game plan.
For the first time in a long time, Kidney will not have to do everything by himself.
6. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 2 A Season Totals: 19 GP, 10 G, 14 A, 24 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 2nd (-4)
The Kitchener Rangers have struggled since the last time we checked in with players in the Canadiens prospect pool, with disappointing losses to the Sarnia Sting and the Flint Firebirds.
The good news is Mesar earned two primary assists in the 4-3 loss to Flint, setting up newcomer Francesco Arcuri with two great passes, but he did not manage to carry his goal-scoring momentum over from the World Junior Championship.
He only had three shots in the two games, which is well below what he needs to hit the scoresheet with more frequency. As previously established, good things happen when Mesar takes a lot of shots.
When he doesn’t, well, you know.
7. Jared Davidson, Centre, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Drafted: 130th overall. Age: 20
Points This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 31 GP, 20 G, 30 A, 50 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 7th (unchanged)
This will sound a little silly, but with just three points in three games, Davidson did not manage to climb the Canadiens prospect rankings this week.
The main reason is his age. At 20 years old, you expect a player to dominate against players who are at a physiological disadvantage, as is the case with most of Davidson’s opponents.
That being said, Davidson has 50 points in just 31 games, which is worth monitoring closely as the WHL season unfolds.
8. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 19
Points This Week: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A Season Totals: 23 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 5 PTS.
Previous Rank: 7th (-1)
Engstrom has not played since he returned from the 2023 World Junior Championship.
He dropped one spot because Kidney had such a great start for the Olympiques rather than based on anything the smooth-skating defenceman did.
9. Jakub Dobes, Goaltender, Ohio State (NCAA), Drafted:
Stats This Week: 2 GP, 2 Wins, 0.966 SV%. Season Totals: 14-7-1, 0.923 SV%, 2 SO.
Previous Ranking: 13th (+4)
One of the main topics of conversation in recent weeks has been the lack of quality goaltenders in the Canadiens prospect pool.
And while it may be true the Habs should investigate the possibility of adding a talented goaltending prospect to the mix, Jakub Dobes is doing everything he can to remind the organization of his incredible potential.
Dobes’ last 10 games have been nothing short of exemplary. He won 7 games while saving 247 of the 263 shots he faced, resulting in a glowing .940 save percentage.
Thanks to his excellent performances, the 6’4″ netminder makes his way into the top 10 for the first time this season.
The sample size is rather small, but to give you an idea of his excellence, you can simply look at the numbers produced by the other two goaltenders on the team (.750 save percentage), and you’ll understand why Ohio State relies on Dobes so often.
Dobes made 32 saves in the Buckeyes’ 6-0 win over Michigan State, earning his second shutout of the season.
It’s difficult to get a read on goaltenders, but as it stands, it’s fair to say Dobes represents the Canadiens’ best hope among goaltending prospects.
10. Logan Mailloux, Defenceman, London Knights (OHL). Drafted: 31st overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 1 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 28 GP, 12 G, 14 A, 26 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 10th (unchanged)
Mailloux has maintained a healthy scoring pace throughout the season, but when it comes to his NHL aspirations, there are a few other things that need improvement. Like his positional awareness in the neutral zone, not to mention his gap control when trying to prevent opponents from generating a chance off the rush.
His decision-making could also stand to be improved.
And in recent games, despite a relatively low point production, Mailloux has addressed his weaknesses and made strides toward turning them into strengths.
He still projects as a long-term project, and he’d be wise to avoid missing any other games in his limited development runway, but there’s no doubt he’s improving crucial aspects of his game that should eventually facilitate his transition to professional hockey.
Best Of The Rest
11. Oliver Kapanen (-3). 12. Vinzenz Rohrer (-1) 13. Anthony Richard (N/A), 14. Jesse Ylonen (unchanged), 15. Rafael Harvey-Pinard (New)
Do you agree or disagree with the Canadiens prospect rankings? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for the next edition.