Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings: Top Prospects Thriving
It’s been a fantastic year for the majority of the players in the Canadiens prospect pool.
And with it, has come a flood of production every single week, leading to a lot of movement among the top 10 players.
Now that we’re approaching the final stretch of the season, we’re doing to start putting a little more value on their overall results this year.
We’ll still keep the last week’s results in play, but going forward it will be a little more difficult for prospects to make significant moves up the Canadiens prospect power rankings.
Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings Week 13
1. Riley Kidney, Centre, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL). Drafted: 63rd overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 1 GP, 2 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 39 GP, 20 G, 47 A, 67 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 1st (unchanged)
Right now, there could be three players tied for first overall. Usually, there’s a determining factor that breaks the tie. But the top 3 players are all on a heater, producing jaw-dropping results for their respective teams.
And no one has impressed more than Riley Kidney, who is clearly a very big Slush Puppie aficionado. On a unrelated note, I suddenly miss ‘the Bob’. Sure, the Robert Guertin arena was old and dilapidated, but that’s part of the charm of classic hockey barns. They’re missing seats, the plumbing is exposed, the beer is cheap, and the rink poutine is to die for. There’s a certain charm to old barns that new arenas simply can’t match.
Where was I?
Oh yes, Kidney’s dominant play with the Olympiques.
His four-point effort against Val D’Or pushed his total production with Gatineau to eight goals and 16 assists (!) in just eight games.
Take away his goal-per-game pace and he’d still be scoring at a two-points-per-game pace, which is ridiculous when you consider he was kept off the scoresheet in his first game with the Olympiques.
It was important to see what Kidney could do on a roster that isn’t entirely dependent on him to drive the offence, and the results have been nothing short of spectacular.
2. Sean Farrell, C/LW, Harvard University (NCAA). Drafted: 124th overall (2020), Age: 21
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 5 A Season Totals: 21 GP, 12 G, 22 A, 34 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 2nd (unchanged)
Again, you could easily argue Farrell deserves the top spot, and I’d quickly acquiesce.
With another five points in the bank, including a four-point effort against Cornell, Farrell has the second-best scoring rate in the NCAA., with 1.62 points per game. He trails only 2023 top prospect Adam Fantilli, who has 1.82 points per game for the University of Michigan.
His progress isn’t just evident when you watch him play. He’s improved his output significantly compared to last season, which is a significant development considering he spent an extra year playing in the USHL.
Last season, Farrell scored 10 goals and 18 assists in 24 games. This year he’s up to 12 goals and 22 assists in just 21 games, with no end in sight to his scoring ways.
3. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 4 A. Season Totals: 22 GP, 9 G, 22A, 31 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 3rd (unchanged)
I can hear the criticism from here.
“You’re telling me an 18-year-old player that’s outscoring the majority of the NCAA as a defenceman isn’t worthy of the top spot on the list?”
I get it. He’s in the midst of one of the best seasons in NCAA history, and though the hype train has been loaded up with coal (I’ve been responsible for a fair amount of the shovelling), he’s still managed to shatter all expectations in his rookie season with Boston University.
Hutson is likely to be back on top of the rankings sooner than later, and for now, he’ll have to share the spotlight with a pair of Canadiens prospects also enjoying incredible success.
Such is life in an organization that is overflowing with young talent.
Make no mistake, Hutson is still the player with the most potential in the Canadiens prospect pool, but this week he’s going to remain in third place because the two players ahead of him also enjoyed fantastic results.
New @eliteprospects video:
Lane Hutson is tearing up the NCAA, his highlight reel becomes even more absurd every week, and his game continues to improve.
From activation to defence, here's how he's doing it, what has improved, and the next steps.
📺: https://t.co/7zke0zEhKZ pic.twitter.com/8t6pr27o7Y
— Mitchell Brown (@MitchLBrown) January 25, 2023
4. Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 2 A Season Totals: 34 GP, 25 G, 32 A, 57 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 4th
Roy was held off the scoresheet in Sherbrooke’s 2-1 loss to Shawinigan, although you’d be hard-pressed to describe his play as disappointing. Rather, it was an incredible performance from goaltender Remi Delafontaine, who made 41 saves and stole the game for the Cataractes.
Roy followed up his goose egg with back-to-back multi-point efforts, giving him two points per game since returning from his gold-medal-winning performance with Team Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championship.
There’s been a significant amount of concern over his diminished scoring pace, especially since Roy led all QMJHL players in scoring last season. Still, realistically speaking, there’s not much of a gap compared to his production this year.
Last season he earned 1.8 points per game. This year he’s closing in on 1.7 points per game, a negligible difference when you consider his season was interrupted by an international tournament.
🚂 + 👑=🚨 pic.twitter.com/Effa0DyzEf
— Phœnix de Sherbrooke (@PhoenixSherbroo) January 28, 2023
5. Owen Beck, Centre, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 18
Last Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 1 A Season Totals: 36 GP, 19 G, 24 A, 43 PTS
Previous Ranking: 5th
We’re going to quickly overlook the “lack” of production this week, which is more than understandable when you consider Beck played in the OHL the same week he made his NHL debut.
Pretty wild 24 hours for #gohabsgo Owen Beck.
Was playing in the NHL last night, and just now gets the primary assist on this Samuel Mayer goal to put the Petes up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/XIPaWpg851
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) January 29, 2023
In Beck’s few shifts, he gave Canadiens fans a sneak peek at what he brings to the table: great defensive awareness, an affinity for driving the play into the offensive zone with control of the puck, and a cerebral approach that necessitates very little coaching.
It’s also worth noting Beck would have assisted on a nice goal for Peterborough, which came off a classic faceoff win, but it was ultimately called back.
Clean draw win by Owen Beck leads directly to a goal.
Unfortunately, this one waved off by the refs for a high stick. pic.twitter.com/0pHY2EhKE0
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) January 29, 2023
6. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 1 G, 0 A Season Totals: 30 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 8 PTS.
Previous Rank: 7th (+1)
Engstrom scored his fifth goal of the season for Rogle, a nice snipe against Emil Heineman and Leksand. As an aside, Heineman has found his rhythm of late and is enjoying an uptick in scoring.
He’s easily one of the best defencemen under 20 years old in the league and should be considered alongside Hutson as the Canadiens’ most promising defensive prospect. They’re not on the same level when it comes to their untapped potential, but Engstrom’s overall game is a little more polished than Hutson’s at the moment.
7. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 18 (PLAYING TONIGHT)
Points This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 0 A Season Totals: 27 GP, 12 G, 15 A, 27 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 10th (+3)
After dropping to his lowest ranking of the season due to an elongated scoring drought, Mesar bounced back perfectly by scoring two goals for the Rangers.
He was also held scoreless in their 6-4 loss to the Eerie Otters, which is notable because Mesar only had one shot, whereas he had over four shots in both games he scored. It’s been a trend throughout the year, the more he shoots, the more he scores. It may seem obvious, but it’s also true.
MUST READ: Filip Mesar discusses the World Junior Championship and the Canadiens development team
On that note, needs to keep shooting as much as possible and the scoring droughts will quickly become a thing of the past.
Filip Mesar opens the scoring just 53 seconds in with some quick hands out front! #CHLTVGOTW pic.twitter.com/ROFtiyHvr5
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) February 1, 2023
8. Jared Davidson, Centre, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). Drafted: 130th overall. Age: 20
Points This Week: 2 GP, 2 G, 1 A. Season Totals: 37 GP, 23 G, 33 A, 56 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 6th (-2)
Our favourite overager had a decent week, although not good enough to keep him in the sixth spot. Three points is a good result, but he’s also much bigger and stronger than the vast majority of his opponents due to his age, which is a big factor in the production.
That being said, he had a three-point game against the Spokane Chiefs, and even though they’re one of the worst teams in the Western Hockey League, it was his 17th multi-point effort of the season, and the 10th time he earned three or more points in a game.
Davidson is a big reason why the Thunderbirds are one of the best CHL teams in the country, and will be a crucial part of their push for the Memorial Cup.
📽️ WHL Highlights – January 27, 2023
🏒 @SeattleTbirds (7) at @spokanechiefs (2)
Jared Davidson helps pace the Seattle attack with two goals in Spokane.
STATS 📰 | https://t.co/3qGvZJAgpZ pic.twitter.com/iw3pf9Zc8x
— The WHL (@TheWHL) January 28, 2023
9. Jakub Dobes, Goaltender, Ohio State (NCAA), Drafted: 136th overall (2020), Age: 21
Stats This Week: 0 GP, 0 Win, 0.000 SV%. Season Totals: 16-9-1, 0.921 SV%, 2.18 GAA, 3 SO.
Previous Ranking: 9th (unchanged)
Ohio State did not play this week. Dobes maintains his ranking based on the strength of his overall season.
He will be back in action on Feb.3 and Feb.4, as the Buckeyes take on Penn State in back-to-back games.
Of course, there’s no guarantee he features in both games, but seeing as he’s guarded the net for roughly 100 percent of the starts for Ohio State, it’s very likely Dobes will add two more starts to his record.
Frederik Dichow had a great week for Frolunda, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue that Dobes is not currently the best goaltender in the Canadiens prospect pool.
10. Logan Mailloux, Defenceman, London Knights (OHL). Drafted: 31st overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 36 GP, 13 G, 18 A, 31 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 8th (-2)
It was an unusually quiet week from a production standpoint for the Canadiens prospect, although his point totals probably don’t do justice to his overall play.
Mailloux was a minus 1 in London’s 3-0 loss to Owen Beck and the Peterborough Petes, but if you watch the play, it’s clear he had nothing to do with the goal against his team.
He was a little lost without the puck on the play, but there was nothing he could do to stop the empty-net goal considering it took place on the far side of the ice.
It was the perfect example of why the plus/minus statistic is flawed.
The one thing that’s worth noting was his lowered shot rate this week. Mailloux has a penchant for putting up a lot of shots, and we’ve seen a drop in those numbers lately.
Best Of The Rest
11. Cedrick Guindon (unchanged). 11. Oliver Kapanen (unchanged). 13. Emil Heineman (+1). 14. Anthony Richard (-1). 15. Joel Teasdale (unchanged). 16. Vinzenz Rohrher (new). 17. Petteri Nurmi (new). 18. Jayden Struble (new). 19. Luke Tuch (new). 20. Xavier Simoneau (new).
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.
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 5: Prospects Heating Up Ahead Of WJC
Week 6: Sean Farrell’s Impressive Scoring
Week 7: Filip Mesar Shines
Week 8: Owen Beck Takes Over First Place
Week 9: Filip Mesar Makes A Big Jump
Week 10: The Jakub Dobes Show
Week 11: New Reigning Champion
Week 12: Kidney Scoring At Will
William Trudeau is being really overlooked in these rankings. He is on a 7 game point streak and basically the #1 defenceman on the Rocket at age 20!
Don’t worry. We’ll be covering Trudeau in more depth this weekend.