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Habs Prospects

Canadiens Prospects At Memorial Cup, Undrafted Goaltender



potential Canadiens Free agent target Rousseau

The Montreal Canadiens prospects participating in the 2023 Memorial Cup face significant adversity.

Owen Beck and the Peterborough Petes put together an honest effort against Jared Davidson and the Seattle Thunderbirds in their tournament opening game, a 6-3 loss that featured a great end-to-end goal from Beck.

But the Petes, who went on one of the most surprising and impressive runs in recent Junior history to qualify for the Memorial Cup, seem to have run out of magic, as evidenced by the 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Kamloops Blazers on Sunday.

Peterborough goaltenders Michael Simpson and Liam Sztuska both allowed five goals, however, it would be unfair to blame them for the lopsided score.

Not only did the Petes allow 49 shots against, Beck, who usually wins well over 60 percent of his faceoffs, only managed to win 46 of his draws against Kamloops.

Simply put, the Blazers were faster, stronger, and more opportunistic.

Thunderbirds Down

The Thunderbirds also suffered a loss in their second game of the tournament.

But their 3-1 loss to the Quebec Remparts was far from an embarrassing game for the organization. They outshot Quebec 36-22 and had a clear advantage in quality scoring chances. Perhaps some high-intensity interval training has paid off.

Davidson was held off the scoresheet, though it’s worth noting he had three shots on net, including two of the high-danger variety, and won 17 of the 22 faceoffs in which he participated (77%).

The story of the game was the excellent play of William Rousseau, the undrafted goaltender for the Remparts.

Rousseau, 20, was invited to the Ottawa Senators rookie camp last season, but as it stands, no team owns his NHL rights.

His regular-season numbers leave something to be desired, but a glance at his playoff stats tells a different tale.

Considering the Canadiens have a dearth of talent at the goaltending position, adding a player like Rousseau to the mix could end up solving a few different problems. It would allow the team to rest easy knowing that Cayden Primeau’s waiver status won’t leave them without enough goaltenders for their NHL and AHL teams should an injury or waiver claim occur.

Interest from other clubs will play a factor, but for now, it seems like Rousseau is a perfect candidate for an AHL contract if he once again goes undrafted this summer.

As for familiarity, the Canadiens have some things working in their favour. Not only is he former Canadiens forward Bobby Rousseau‘s grandson, but he’s also a Trois-Rivieres native, which means he’s well-suited to ply his trade in the ECHL until he’s ready for a job in the AHL.

On The Docket

The Peterborough Petes will face the undefeated Quebec Remparts Tuesday night. Unless the Petes find another miracle in their bag of tricks, it’s likely to be the final time Canadiens fans will be able to watch Owen Beck play this season. The puck drop is scheduled for 9 PM ET.

Jared Davidson and the Seattle Thunderbirds will look to rebound from their loss on Wednesday night. They’ll face the host team, the Kamloops Blazers, the very same team they eliminated in six games during the WHL playoffs. The puck drop is scheduled for 9 PM ET.

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