Canadiens Prospect Report: Jared Davidson’s Impressive Scoring
As far as players in the Montreal Canadiens prospect pool go, very few have maintained a more impressive scoring pace than Seattle Thunderbirds forward Jared Davidson.
In fact, other than Riley Kidney, Joshua Roy, and Sean Farrell, three of the most exciting prospects in the organization, no other player outproduced Davidson, who finished the season with 38 goals and 44 assists in 60 games. Of course, we must consider Davidson, 20, is older than most of his competition, and thus his scoring should be taken with a grain of salt.
To a certain extent.
The key, in his case, is evaluating whether his scoring plays would translate to the professional level, or if they’re simply a matter of Davidson overpowering his opponents.
Davidson plays for a powerhouse team in the WHL, which obviously helps when it comes to developing in a situation that’s conducive to scoring.
Playing alongside players such as Brad Lambert and Dylan Guenther can help bolster production from most players in the CHL, but while examining Davidson’s playoff footage, one thing is clear.
Davidson (No.29) isn’t just a passenger on the Thunderbirds roster. He’s driving the play.
He’s also a ferocious forechecker, as evidenced by the play below, in which he outworked his coverage to set up his teammate for an easy goal.
You’ll note Davidson whiffed on his first pass attempt, but he quickly recovered, knowing exactly where to send the pass thanks to his presence of mind to scope out the play developing behind him before recovering the puck.
One Timer’s Galore
Davidson, who led the Thunderbirds in scoring during the regular season, has scored four goals and seven assists in seven playoff games, including a two-goal effort versus the Prince George Cougars on Saturday night. Both goals came on the power play, and both were a direct result of Davidson’s excellent one-timer, which he puts to good use on most nights from the right circle.
His fantastic one-timer isn’t just a great way to score in the WHL, it’s also a skill that should be translatable to professional hockey.
Davidson was only recently added to the many talented players in the Canadiens prospect pool, but despite being a 2022 fifth-round pick, the clock is ticking when it comes to a contract offer.
The Canadiens must sign Davidson by June 1, 2024, or his rights are relinquished.
He will turn 21 on July 7th, 2023, which means he’s too old to play in the CHL and will have to find a new league next season. A one-year contract with the Laval Rocket may be in order, something along the lines of what we saw with Rafael Harvey-Pinard in 2020.
He’s certainly tough enough to survive in the AHL, as evidenced by his brutal knockout of Kelowna Rockets forward John Babcock.
But despite his impressive offensive skill set, there are still significant red flags in Davidson’s game.
The most obvious of which is his skating.
It’s not what you could consider horrible, but at the moment it’s far from being good enough that you could project him succeeding in the NHL. He also seems lost at times in his own zone, owning to some questionable defensive instincts.
Then there’s the matter of Davidson playing on one of the best teams in the country. It’s not a strike against him, but we do have to weigh the quality of his teammates when analyzing his results.
However, given his impressive scoring rate, which has only improved now that he’s playing a crucial role for Seattle in the playoffs, Davidson is the exact type of prospect that should be given an extended look with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate.
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This is the type of player the Habs need he can score has decent size and has some jam to his game.
Reminds me of Danault
Can’t teach scoring
I love these type of guys. He’s pretty much a forgotten man in the prospect pool a lot of the time. I can see him turn a few heads next season in Laval and insinuate himself more into the discussion of the future of this team. All he needs is the chance to prove it.