Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings: Lane Hutson’s Dominant Season
It’s been a great season for several players in the Canadiens prospect pool.
But no one has stood out more than rookie phenom Lane Hutson. He didn’t just enjoy a great regular season, he put up historic numbers, and he did it with style.
With that in mind, let’s get right into the list.
Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings Week 18
1. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 18
Points This Week: 2 GP, 2 G, 2 A. Season Totals: 33 GP, 12 G, 31A, 43PTS.
Previous Ranking: 3rd (+2)
Hutson finished his ridiculous freshman regular season with two more multi-point efforts, including two goals against Providence on Friday night. With the strong end to his season, Hutson pushes past Farrell and Kidney to return to the top of the prospect rankings.
I won’t go on and on about his historic scoring rate this season, because I already did that in an article which you can find here.
Canadiens fans were told not to get too excited when he started the season with an encouraging three-point effort against Bentley, but now that he’s finished his rookie season by outscoring every other defenceman, it’s probably safe to project Hutson as a prospect that has the potential to make a significant impact in the NHL.
Suffice it to say, there has never been a player of his ilk in the Canadiens prospect pool.
2. 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 (-1)
Farrell has not played since our last edition of the Canadiens prospect rankings.
He’ll have a chance to regain his spot as the No.1 prospect when the Harvard Crimson face Princeton in their ECAC Playoff Quarterfinal.
With his regular season officially over, Farrell can claim to be the second most productive player in college this season, trailing only 2023 top prospect Adam Fantilli in points per game.
He’s clearly the Canadiens prospect who is closest to being NHL-ready, and should make his professional debut in either of the Canadiens’ final two games.
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
3. Riley Kidney, Centre, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL). Drafted: 63rd overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 4 A. Season Totals: 51 GP, 26 G, 69 A, 95 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 2nd (-1)
Kidney dropped due to Hutson’s dominance, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue he had a bad week. He added a pair of multi-point efforts to his record, continuing his video-game-like production since arriving in Gatineau.
He has scored 12 goals and 38 assists in just 20 games with the Olympiques, the type of production that speaks for itself.
4. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A Season Totals: 39 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 16 PTS.
Previous Rank: 4th
I recently had the chance to catch up with Patrik Bexell, the authority on Canadiens prospects playing in Europe. He gave us interesting insight as to Engstrom’s potential, as well as his development overseas.
It remains to be seen if I’m too bullish on the talented defenceman, but all signs point to him having the potential to become a top-four defenceman, with an outside shot of becoming a top-pairing blueliner.
He’s incredibly skilled and has the type of creativity that generates scoring chances for his teammates on a whim.
As a bonus, the Canadiens don’t have to worry about his immediate future, as his contract with Rogle runs to the end of 2023-24.
#Habs prospect Adam Engström (56) activates from his defensive position and gets a chance right infront of the net, but can't burry the shot.
Smart play, and good read to see that opportunity. pic.twitter.com/kWs1s416TG
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) March 7, 2023
5. Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 1 G, 0 A Season Totals: 46 GP, 35 G, 42 A, 77 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 6th (+1)
As has been the case throughout the season, Roy responded to a sleepy week from a production standpoint with a fantastic effort, resulting in five points in two games.
He probably won’t match his production from last season, when he led the league in scoring, but overall, Roy is enjoying a good, if not somewhat inconsistent season.
The key for Roy will be how he performs in the playoffs.
6. Logan Mailloux, Defenceman, London Knights (OHL). Drafted: 31st overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 51 GP, 22 G, 25 A, 47 PTS.
Previous Ranking: 5th
Mailloux did not register a point, which is rather rare in his case.
But it was not for a lack of trying. He continues to be a shot-generating machine, earning 10 shots in his two games this week.
He no longer leads the league in defenceman scoring, he has 22 goals while the leader has 23 goals in 10 more games, but for the most part, Mailloux has established himself as one of the biggest blueline scoring threats in the OHL, particularly on the power play.
12 of his goals have come on the power play, owing to his booming shot, which has found its way to the net over 200 times this season.
7. Jakub Dobes, Goaltender, Ohio State (NCAA), Drafted: 136th overall (2020), Age: 21
Stats This Week: 3 GP, 2 Win, 0.959%. Season Totals: 20-14-3, 0.920 SV%, 2.35 GAA, 3 SO.
Previous Ranking: 9th (+2)
Dobes only received two wins for his troubles this week, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue he did not deserve better a little better.
He saved 93 of the 97 shots sent his way in three playoff games against Penn State, keeping the Buckeyes in the last two games despite some long stretches in which Penn State dominated the game.
As it stands, Dobes has a lower save percentage this season compared to his great results last year, but overall, I wouldn’t say he took a step back. If anything, his team took a step back, while Dobes continued his encouraging development into a prospect with legitimate NHL aspirations.
With their quarterfinal wins over Penn State in the books, the Buckeyes will face Adam Fantilli and the University of Michigan in the Big 10 Tournament semi-final.
8. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 18
Points This Week: 4 GP, 0 G, 4 A Season Totals: 44 GP, 16 G, 26 A, 42 PTS
Previous Ranking: 8th (+1)
Mesar failed to score a goal, but he had one of his best weeks of the new year, earning four points in four games, including two assists in the Rangers’ 3-0 win over Owen Sound.
Considering he’s under a point-per-game as a first-round pick, his production is rather underwhelming, but we must also keep in mind the challenge involved in playing your first season of hockey in a new country.
It doesn’t just involve new teammates, a new coach, new strategies, and new opponents, it also robs the players of a lottheheir comforts they may have counted upon when playing in their home country.
Things such as home-cooked meals, as well as friends and family.
9. Owen Beck, Centre, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 18
Last Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 2 A Season Totals: 51 GP, 20 G, 35 A, 55 PTS
Previous Ranking: 7th (-2)
It wasn’t a banner week for Beck, but it did represent a resurgence in offence, relatively speaking.
Unfortunately, Beck, much like the rest of the roster, cannot seem to build much momentum. It’s a team-wide issue, evidenced by their 5-5 record over the last 10 games.
It seems to be a completely different team from one night to the next, which does not bode well for their playoff aspirations. There’s still time to get things back on track before real hockey begins, but it’s fair to say the Petes have had underwhelming results since the trade deadline.
I still rank Beck as one of the most promising prospects in the organization, and if I had to make a bet, he has some of the best odds to make it to the NHL due to his unique skillset, but since these are power rankings, he drops to the 9th spot on our list this week.
10. Oliver Kapanen, Forward, Kalpa (Liiga), Drafted: 64th overall (2021), Age: 19
Points This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 0 A. Season Totals: 52 GP, 11 G, 15A, 26 PTS
Previous Ranking: 10th
I wasn’t convinced I was making the right choice by returning Kapanen to the top 10 last week, but he certainly cemented his spot on the list with a strong effort for Kalpa, including goals against SaiPa Lappeenranta and Saku Koivu’s team, TPS Turku.
You want to see a little more from a player like Kapanen, especially if he’s to eventually produce against a higher level of competition in the NHL, but his recent uptick in scoring is an encouraging development in the final stretch of the season.
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
Week 17: Farrell and Kidney Battle For 1st
Engstrom is my favorite defensive Prospect outside Hutson.
Plays RD internationally so you know he’s capable of both sides.
Trains Twice a day with his team and the Junior team then again solo .
His Coach didnt have a comparison for the insane Conditioning limits that Engstrom pushes himself to , but i do . Nik Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara were both Extremely well know for their limitless conditioning regiments. He may never have their offensive upside but Defensively and from a Conditioning standpoint i’d say he checks those boxes.
By 2025 the hope is
Struble (with Mailloux close)
Engstrom would bring balance to Hutson who’s defense is getting better but we can expect a lot of turnovers in the NHL if he doesnt have someone anchoring him like he does now in the NCAA.
Do you not see Matheson getting resigned here? I do. His skating is elite, and the only other elite skill we have on the team is Caufield’s scoring. And unless he gets a serious knee injury in the next 2 seasons, I still see him being able to fly beyond the contract he’s presently on. He’s signed for the 2025-2026 season and will be 32 when he becomes a UFA. I just think he provides something (skating) at a level beyond anyone else on the team.