Canadiens Surplus Of Defensive Prospects Encouraging, Not Perfect
After decades of having a rather questionable group of defensive prospects, the Montreal Canadiens can finally describe their situation as healthy.
Some may insist it’s a position of strength within the organization, and there’s certainly a legitimate argument to be made regarding the abundance of talent on the blue line because it’s an encouraging development considering the team struggled to develop defencemen that ended up making their mark in the NHL.
But there’s also no rush to use the defensive group as trade chips.
Take Jordan Harris, for example.
When discussing his impact, which was significant, the conversation quickly turned to the idea of trading him with the goal of solving organizational weaknesses.
There’s merit to that idea.
We should deal him while he stock is high. There's no room for him along with Hutson and Mailloux. He's not that good.
— Kristian Gravenor (@CoolopolisMTL) April 20, 2023
But as a wise farmer once told me, “Get off my land, I will not hesitate to shoot you,”
What he really meant was that you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Allow me, if you will, to bring you back to a previous Draft.
Let’s Take It Back To ’79 (2011)
Fresh off a seemingly solid Draft that allowed the Canadiens to put their hands on Nathan Beaulieu in the first round, the talk around the Canadiens was that they had finally shored up their defensive depth, and there was no need to worry about the defence going forward. If anything, it was a position of strength within the organization.
Players like Beaulieu, Josiah Didier, Magnus Nygren, Darren Dietz, Jared Tinordi, Darren Dietz, and Morgan Ellis would ensure the team’s defensive woes were a thing of the past.
Fast forward a few years, and only Beaulieu remained on the team.
What’s more, the defensive woes were far from solved.
Defencemen like Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban kept the team above water, but it’s only fair to point out none of the defencemen chosen in 2010 or 2011 ended up lasting long with the team.
The same situation may occur with the current roster.
It’s incredibly encouraging to see recently drafted players Kaiden Guhle and Jordan Harris play well despite their lack of experience, but their results were simply not good enough to start mortgaging the future of the defensive group.
Logan Mailloux, Adam Engstrom, and Lane Hutson all have very healthy odds of making the NHL, but at the moment, those are but hopes and dreams rather than tangible results that should lead to a decision to pilfer the blueline.
As history has shown us, things can change quickly in the NHL, particularly when it comes to defensive prospects.
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These are the defencemen pairings I would go with in the foreseeable future:
These are my front line pairings selections:
I’m willing to take a chance on Monahan with Montreal’s top draft selection (Will Smith?) replacing him if he continues to be injury prone. In fact, pray that the injury curse be expunged from the organization.