Montreal Canadiens prospect Sean Farrell is thriving this year with the Harvard Crimson, a major jump in performance that has vaulted him to the top of the Hobey Baker conversation in the NCAA.
The 21-year-old has been putting up points at a torrid pace in the NCAA this season for the Harvard Crimson; registering a sparkling 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points in just 24 games so far this year.
Farrell’s season started off much like last year; just above a point-per-game, while looking like the most creative player on the ice.
However, since the month of January, Farrell has been the most productive forward in the entire NCAA. In his last 12 games since the start of 2023, Farrell has registered a staggering seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points; all while being the offensive catalyst for Harvard in crunch situations.
Sean Farrell with a beautiful end-to-end goal #GoHabsGo
— Costa Rontzocos (@Rontzeeez) January 15, 2023
He’s been more aggressive on the ice and has utilized his speed to get into the high-danger areas with more regularity. It’s helped him drive the play with more ease; showing off his dual-threat ability and keeping his opponents guessing.
His recent offensive surge has seen him surge up the ranks of the NCAA scoring race, now currently sitting his second place with his 41 points.
His 1.71 points-per-game ratio is second only to 2023 NHL Draft prospect Adam Fantilli, a former teammate of Farrell’s in the USHL with the Chicago Steel, who also leads the NCAA with 48 points in 25 games.
That Sean Farrell (#21), so hot right now 🔥 pic.twitter.com/i85nGEqg9u
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) February 6, 2023
Farrell was recently one of Harvard’s three nominations for the Hobey Baker award, an honour given out to the most valuable player in the NCAA; but, with the way he’s been playing of late, he’s likely to be one of the three finalists for the coveted trophy.
With the way Farrell has been playing of late, it wouldn’t be outlandish to see him be heavily considered for the trophy. Farrell leads his team in scoring by quite a large margin, with Alex Laferriere 10 points back of Farrell in Harvard Crimson scoring.
Although Fantilli may have the lead in points, he plays on a stacked roster at the University of Michigan, which includes multiple current and future NHL 1st-round picks. This isn’t to say that what Farrell is doing makes him a better prospect or player than Fantilli, but Farrell’s current play has been crucial to the overall success of the Crimson this season.
It’ll be a tight race between the two former Chicago Steel forwards, but, just being able to have that kind of debate goes to show how intriguing a prospect Sean Farrell truly is.
Sean Farrell. (G, 3A). Another big time performance. Great play by Coronato to force the turnover. 5-3 Harvard. #GoCrimson
— Harvard Men's Hockey (@HarvardMHockey) February 11, 2023
Getting Ready For the NHL
There has been speculation that the youngster could forgo signing with the Canadiens this spring and eventually become a free agent in the summer of 2024, but Farrell himself has indicated that he’s very excited about potential opportunities with the Canadiens down the road.
In a recent interview with Montreal Hockey Now, Sean Farrell praised the work the Montreal Canadiens had done in fleshing out their developmental staff, including Farrell’s skills coach, Adam Nicholas.
MUST READ: Sean Farrell Interview
In the very same interview, Farrell showed no hesitation when asked whether he could see himself playing with the Canadiens. For him, it’s a situation almost tailor-made for him as a player to come in and contribute in a way that would be both sustainable and meaningful.
“I think they emphasize playing fast and playing a fast possession game. That’s something I’ve always been good at and have succeeded in systems like that,” said Farrell about St. Louis’ new coaching approach. “I feel like, once I’m ready and my body is ready, I feel like I’ll be able to step in and help the team offensively. You’ve definitely seen flashes from them this year where they score a bunch of goals and play well on the rush. They’re really fun to watch and hopefully I’ll be able to step into that one day.”
Of all the Montreal Canadiens’ prospects, he’s likely the one that is closest to the NHL right now, and the one that is best suited for the style head coach Martin St-Louis wants to play.
The experience he’s gaining this season will be invaluable in helping him take the next step in his career, likely to come in a few months’ time.