More Canadiens Prospects Could Join Laval Rocket For Playoffs
Should the Laval Rocket qualify for the AHL Playoffs, they could receive more Montreal Canadiens prospects as reinforcements.
With the playoffs advancing in the various major-junior leagues, more and more Montreal Canadiens prospects will inevitably meet each other down the line.
Luckily for Joshua Roy and Riley Kidney, the Sherbrooke Phoenix and the Gatineau Olympiques have not yet crossed paths; and each team looks primed for a push to the QMJHL Conference Finals.
However, in the OHL, things could get very interesting; as the end of the second round coincides almost perfectly with the start of the AHL Playoffs.
The Laval Rocket have already gained Emil Heineman, Jayden Struble and Jakub Dobes over the last few weeks, and there could be more coming aboard in the next week or two.
Logan Mailloux and the London Knights will now have to take on Filip Mesar and the very surprising Kitchener Rangers in a best-of-seven series which starts on Thursday.
Mailloux has been a key player for the London Knights down the stretch and was especially impressive in London’s four-game sweep of the Owen Sound Attack.
Posting two goals and three assists for five points in his first four career OHL playoff games, his responsibilities are going to increase even more as London tries to avoid getting shocked by the Kitchener Rangers.
Yes, Kitchener has surprised many since the start of the playoffs, as the eighth seed in the OHL’s Western Conference swept Shane Wright and the top-seeded Windsor Spitfires.
Filip Mesar was buzzing during the first few games, but was finally able to find the back of the net in the decisive game for the Rangers, potting the go-ahead goal that help Kitchener close out the series and secure the upset.
But only one is moving on to the Conference Finals.
The series between the two clubs will see their first five games played in a seven-day window between April 13 and April 20. If the Rocket do qualify for the playoffs and this series doesn’t go the full distance, one of the Montreal Canadiens’ top prospects could be made available to join the Rocket.
The potent Ottawa 67s and Vinzenz Rohrer are now slated to face Owen Beck and the stacked Peterborough Petes in the next round of the playoffs.
Similar to the London-Kitchener series, the first five games of this series will be played between April 14 and 22; meaning there is a distinct possibility that either prospect could be available for Laval upon elimination.
This series is going to be incredibly hard to predict, however, as Ottawa and Peterborough both loaded up at the OHL Trade Deadline; meaning it could go either way.
It would almost be fitting to have Owen Beck join the Laval Rocket for a playoff run; given their lack of centre depth at the moment.
On top of that, playing games in Laval would have provided Beck with a reassignment to every possible team situation a junior player could participate in during a regular season (NHL, AHL, OHL, World Juniors).
However, Vinzenz Rohrer is tailor-made for the gritty and trench-like environment of the playoffs, be they in junior or in the pro level; he could also be a nice addition for the Rocket on an Amateur-Try-Out.
Unfortunately, Justin Barron will not be eligible for the AHL Playoffs, despite the Canadiens’ best efforts.
The 21-year-old was injured the day before the NHL Trade Deadline and therefore could not be papered to the AHL before 3 p.m. on March 3; making him ineligible to play for Laval.
The same could be said for Juraj Slafkovsky, who was ruled out for the season in January with a knee injury.
The 19-year-old will also not be participating in the IIHF World Championships this year; deciding to focus on his fitness and training this offseason.
Sean Farrell is also ineligible to join the Rocket due to signing his entry-level contract effective for the 2022-2023 season after the passing of the NHL Trade Deadline.
He could potentially be headed to the World Championships to represent the United States for a second consecutive year.
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