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Canadiens Organization Set For Major Youth Movement In 2023



Montreal Canadiens gm Kent Hughes

It may not look like it now, but the Montreal Canadiens organization is about to get a serious influx of young talent for next season.

With their roster depleted by a ridiculous number of injuries, the Canadiens have called up most of the prospects they had left with the Laval Rocket.

With the likes of Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Jesse Ylönen and Justin Barron having positive impacts on the team during their most recent stint; they could be going a long way to convincing Canadiens management to make room for them on the main roster.

It would be a wise decision by general manager Kent Hughes, as the Canadiens are set for quite the influx of young talent over the next few months; with the process already underway.

The Short Term

The first move was made earlier this week, when the Montreal Canadiens announced that they had signed prospect Jayden Struble to his entry-level contract and assigned him to the Laval Rocket.

The rugged defenceman had completed his four years in the NCAA with the Northeastern Huskies and was now ready to join the Canadiens organization on a full-time basis; adding yet another promising blueliner to the Rocket’s defensive brigade.

In the coming days, Emil Heineman, who spent the year with Leksand of the SHL, will be coming over the pond to play hockey in North America on a permanent basis.

The 21-year-old was a standout during the Canadiens’ most recent training camp and he will likely be a major addition to the Rocket’s playoff push this season.

The 6’0, 194lbs winger will bring some much-needed jam to the Canadiens’ organization upfront; as his combination of size and speed is sorely lacking within the prospect pool.

Another prospect likely making the jump to the Canadiens organization in the coming weeks is Sean Farrell.

The 21-year-old winger has dominated the NCAA so far this season, posting 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points in just 31 games.

With Harvard likely to qualify for the NCAA Championships, Farrell’s season would be coming to a close either in late March or early April; giving him enough time to sign his entry-level contract and join the Montreal Canadiens for their final few games of the season.

The 5’9, 175lbs would be exactly the kind of explosive, skilled forward the Canadiens could use in their lineup at the moment to help give fans a taste of what’s to come next season.

Possible Spring Jump

There is potential for some junior-based players to make the jump to the pros as early as this spring, should their season conclude earlier than expected.

A prime candidate would be Filip Mesar, who struggled this season with the disappointing Kitchener Rangers.

The skilled forward has however found his game of late, posting a point-per-game ratio over his last eight games with the Rangers.

That being said, the Rangers are expected to play the powerhouse Windsor Spitfires in the first round of the playoffs; a matchup that puts Kitchener down as serious underdogs.

If the Rangers get eliminated early, Mesar would be able to join the Laval Rocket for their final games of the season; as well as the playoffs, on a PTO.

Depending on how far the Laval Rocket go in the playoffs, should they qualify, other junior-based prospects like Logan Mailloux, Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney and Owen Beck could make the jump and provide the depleted club with some much-needed reinforcements this spring.

Next Season

Even if the Rocket don’t make the playoffs this spring, they’ll be sure to get a significant amount of newcomers on their roster next fall.

Youngsters like Roy, Kidney, Mesar, Mailloux and Jared Davidson will likely be spending time in the AHL next season; along with Heineman and potentially even Farrell.

That’s quite the influx of youth expected to join the pro ranks, and that doesn’t include some potential surprises like Miguel Touringy or Petteri Nurmi possibly coming over as well.

It’s been many years since the Canadiens have had a solid flow of prospects going through their developmental system on a consistent basis.

This could be the start of something new.

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Curtis Ault

Nice to see. Laval will be key to the sustainability that Hughes and Gorton wish to build as the years go forward.

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