Habs Prospect Power Rankings: Farrell And Kidney Battle For 1st
It will be difficult for players in the Canadiens prospect pool to make up much ground at this point in the season.
The final stretch of the year is upon us, and with it, a heightened focus on the overall seasons from various prospects.
However, thanks to the quality level of the players considered for these rankings, we will still see a fair amount of movement in the list. Logan Mailloux makes his way into the top 5 this week, while a familiar face returns to the top 10.
Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings Week 17
1. Sean Farrell, C/LW, Harvard University (NCAA). Drafted: 124th overall (2020), Age: 21
Points This Week: 2 GP, 1 G, 0 A Season Totals: 29 GP, 18 G, 29 A, 47 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 1st
We’re used to Farrell earning multiple points on any given night, but he was held off the scoresheet for the first time in a long time during Harvard’s 3-2 win over Clarkson.
It was just the fifth time this season the exciting prospect failed to register a point.
He did score the previous night during Harvard’s 6-2 win over St.Lawrence, and it was the type of goal that you’d expect from a player in the NHL: one that combined patience, skill, and perfect timing.
Before you watch the shootout goal, it’s important to remember how Farrell drew the penalty shot: by blowing by the St-Lawrence defencemen and forcing them to cheat by hooking him in the chest.
It’s the type of play we’ve seen over and over this year. Farrell outclasses his opponents and forces them to take a penalty.
2️⃣1️⃣ makes it look easy
📺ESPN+ #GoCrimson | #OneCrimson pic.twitter.com/rVNvoUCnkm
— Harvard Men's Hockey (@HarvardMHockey) February 25, 2023
It’s best to avoid counting your chickens before they hatch, but in Farrell’s case, it’s fairly safe to say he’s the player in the Canadiens prospect pool who is closest to being NHL-ready. The ECAC probably isn’t as strong as other leagues, but that’s out of Farrell’s control.
He’s a dominant force in all three zones and doesn’t just rank highly versus other Canadiens prospects. At the moment, he’s one of the best players that is yet to make his professional hockey debut.
Sean Farrell (MTL) is the highest-rated forward in the entire data set, just squeezing ahead of Knies. He's obviously been insanely productive and dominant offensively, but also just super solid basically everywhere. #GoHabsGo https://t.co/4nmd76bxat pic.twitter.com/o18DENXaOi
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) February 28, 2023
2. Riley Kidney, Centre, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL). Drafted: 63rd overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 3 G, 5 A. Season Totals: 49 GP, 26 G, 65 A, 91 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 2nd
At this point, it’s more of a 1A/1B situation between Kidney and Farrell.
Farrell is playing against a high quality of competition, and he’s one of the most productive players in the NCAA, but ever since Kidney was traded to the Olympiques, his production has put almost every player in the CHL to shame.
Before the trade, Kidney had scored 14 goals and 31 assists, good for 45 points in 31 games for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. A decent, if not a somewhat underwhelming level of production.
Since the trade, Kidney has earned 46 points in just 18 games with the Olympiques, more than he produced in almost twice as many games with his previous team.
His shooting percentage is hovering around 25 percent, which will normalize at some point, but for now, he’s one of the hottest prospects in the hockey world.
3. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 1 A. Season Totals: 31 GP, 10 G, 29A, 39 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 3rd
Hutson only had one point this week, but if you had the chance to catch his game against Vermont, you’d agree he’s done great work improving his defensive positioning.
His skating is getting much better, an encouraging sign given it was his only real weakness.
Hutson still has some work to do on the defensive side of things, but just like Farrell, he’s one of the best players in the NCAA.
The freshman is likely to stay in the NCAA for another season, which should allow him to iron out some of the wrinkles in his game, and in the meantime, Habs fans can rest easy knowing they have a game-changing prospect in the organization.
As a freshman, Lane Hutson (MTL) is already the top-ranked offensive defenceman in the entire data set. The elite production is backed up by both off-the-charts expected goals output and playmaking numbers. Dominant across the board in transition, too. #GoHabsGo https://t.co/UZ7FqaKs5P pic.twitter.com/6odP7QuaWC
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) February 28, 2023
4. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 1 A Season Totals: 39 GP, 6 G, 1 A, 16 PTS.
Previous Rank: 4th
If not for Hutson stealing the show in the NCAA, Adam Engstrom would be heralded as the best defenceman in the Canadiens prospect pool.
I wrote at length about his many strong points earlier in the week, but for those who haven’t had a chance to watch him play, he’s the epitome of a smooth-skating, offensively-inclined defenceman, who uses his creativity and vision to generate chances for his teammates.
He’s also a very good candidate to eventually become a quarterback on the power play.
Engstrom started the season on the right foot by earning a job in the SHL as an 18-year-old and has since found his rhythm offensively, adding eight points to his season totals in his last 10 games.
Greeat defensive play from #Habs prospect Adam Engström. Especially impressive how he tucks the stick to keep a lane forward for the attacker, and not draw a penalty. Hockey IQ in spades. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/603p5IeFvJ
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) February 25, 2023
5. Logan Mailloux, Defenceman, London Knights (OHL). Drafted: 31st overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 1 A. Season Totals: 49 GP, 22 G, 25 A, 47 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 6th (+1)
Mailloux cracks the top 5 for the first time this season thanks to yet another great week from an offensive standpoint.
He also had a lot fewer defensive lapses compared to previous outings.
He is now sixth among OHL defencemen in points and continues to lead the league in blueliner goal-scoring despite playing fewer games than his closest competitors. It’s also worth noting Mailloux is second in the league with 191 shots on net this season.
The vast majority of his goals (12) have come on the power play, which may not translate to the professional level, but we can’t fault him for scoring when given the opportunity.
6 Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 1 G, 0 A Season Totals: 44 GP, 33 G, 39 A, 72 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 5th (-1)
There are two types of weeks when it comes to Joshua Roy.
Either he’ll blow the doors off the barn with a 10-point week, or he’ll have a sleepy stretch of the schedule which does not lead to much offence.
This week, it was the latter, although he was a little unlucky to just score one goal against Halifax, seeing as he managed an impressive 11 shots on goal.
7. Owen Beck, Centre, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 18
Last Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 1 A Season Totals: 48 GP, 20 G, 33 A, 53 PTS
Previous Ranking: 7th
Things have been going much better for Beck and the Peterborough Petes lately, however, you’d be hard-pressed to argue Beck has returned to a normal level of production.
The chances are there, but like many of his teammates, he’s often a half-second late, or half an inch away from scoring.
I had an opportunity to speak to the 2023 World Junior Championship gold medalist earlier in the week, and he remains one of the most well-spoken, cerebral players in the organization.
He did, unfortunately, admit he likes pineapple on pizza, which is not going to fly with Michael Pezzetta. It goes to show, not everybody is perfect.
8. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A Season Totals: 40 GP, 16 G, 22 A, 38 PTS
Previous Ranking: 8th
From a purely statistical point of view, Mesar had a bad week. He’s now under a point-per-game pace in the OHL, which is fairly disappointing given his professional hockey experience and his status as a first-round pick.
I only caught his game against the Soo Grey Hounds this week, and I have to say, he was incredibly unlucky not to register at least a point if not three.
He had five shots on net, but more importantly, he was fully engaged in the action and was at the centre of several scoring chances.
I’ll defer to Florence on this one since she watches him more often and has a better understanding of his overall season, but it’s safe to say we hold similar opinions on Mesar’s play of late.
#GoHabsGo prospects Owen Beck and Filip Mesar might not have the offensive productions people were expecting from them this season
But I watched both of them this week and they were all over the ice (creating scoring chances for their teammates…) There’s more than just stats…
— Florence Normand (@Florence_1553) February 25, 2023
9. Jakub Dobes, Goaltender, Ohio State (NCAA), Drafted: 136th overall (2020), Age: 21
Stats This Week: 2 GP, 0 Win, 0.881%. Season Totals: 18-13-3, 0.917 SV%, 2.35 GAA, 3 SO.
Previous Ranking: 9th
It was a very difficult week for Dobes, at least by his standards.
Ohio State was outclassed significantly by Michigan in the first game Dobes played, losing 4-0, but goaltending was the deciding factor on the second leg of the back-to-back, which resulted in a 5-2 loss.
Dobes remains the best goaltender in the Canadiens prospect pool, which, admittedly, isn’t saying much given the dearth of talent at that position.
But he’s the driving force behind Ohio States’ national ranking (No.9). and he has a penchant for bouncing back after poor showings. If history is any indicator, expect him to produce good numbers in the upcoming games.
10. Oliver Kapanen, Forward, Kalpa (Liiga), Drafted: 64th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 48 GP, 9 G, 14 A, 23 PTS
Previous Ranking: 11th (+1)
Seeing as Jared Davidson has not played since last week, Oliver Kapanen breaks back into the top 10 for the first time since returning from the 2023 World Junior Championship.
For those doubting his production, keep in mind he’s playing against men in a professional hockey league, which is rather impressive on its own. The mere fact that he’s producing in that league is encouraging.
It’s also worth pointing out he’s third in Liiga scoring among U-20 players.
I’m not convinced his game will translate to North America, but for now, he’s producing enough to earn a reasonable audition.
Vinzenz Rohrer came closer to taking the final spot in the top 10, thanks to a solid week (3 GP, 1G, 2A), but for now, Kapanen gains the edge due to the overall strength of competition he faces on a nightly basis.
Best Of The Rest
11. Vinzenz Rohrer 12. Jared Davidson 13. Joel Teasdale 14. Anthony Richard 15. William Trudeau 16. Cedrick Guindon. 17. Jayden Struble 18. Emil Heineman 19. Petteri Nurmi 20. Xavier Simoneau.
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
Week 13: Top Canadiens Prospect Thriving
Week 14: Hutson Reigns Supreme
Week 15: Sean Farrell Excels
Week 16: There’s No Stopping Sean Farrell