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Canadiens Developmental Team To Be Tested In Big Way



Montreal Canadiens Draft

The Montreal Canadiens’ new-look development team is in for their first big test 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 this season.

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

It’s a positive sign for general manager Kent Hughes, as the Canadiens have sought to redefine their developmental departments and make it an organizational strength moving forward.

Those changes are about to be put to the test, as the organization is set to welcome a significant amount of prospects to their AHL affiliate for next season.

Youth Movement

Having just finished up their junior careers, Logan Mailloux, Joshua Roy, and Riley Kidney will all be turning pro next season.

They’ll be joined by Jayden Struble, Sean Farrell and Emil Heineman, who have all had a taste of North American pro hockey this season and will have big developmental seasons ahead of them.

Newly signed prospects Jakub Dobes and Miguel Tourigny will also be getting into their first games at the pro level; and that’s just the prospects we can confirm for now.

With his exceptional play this season and especially in the playoffs, it might not be outlandish to see the Montreal Canadiens offer an AHL contract to Jared Davidson, as they still own his negotiation rights for another season.

There’s also Filip Mesar, whom the Canadiens could decide to have in Laval next season, rather than sending him back to the depleted Kitchener Rangers for another season.

And then there’s the outside possibility of Owen Beck possibly making the Montreal Canadiens out of camp; although an extra year in the OHL is probably the better and likeliest route.

Even if Mesar and Beck return to junior next season, that’s still an extremely high amount of youngsters headed to the Laval Rocket next season.

But Laval isn’t the only place where development will be key.

Main Roster Push

The Montreal Canadiens will still have quite a few sophomores on their club next season in Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris, Justin Barron, Harvey-Pinard, Ylönen and, most important of all, Juraj Slafkovsky.

Notwithstanding the continued development of Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach and Cole Caufield, the development of Slafkovsky will be paramount to the success of the organization’s rebuild plans.

Having their defensive corps and their 1st overall prize take significant steps next season will not be an easy task for the likes of Adam Nicholas and the rest of the team’s developmental staff; as they’ll also be busy with the many youngsters in Laval.

In fact, it’s the youngest the organization has looked as a whole since the mid-1980s, when a massive wave of youngsters joined the organization and eventually willed them to a Stanley Cup victory in 1986.

For history to repeat itself down the line, the Canadiens will need to pass their upcoming test with flying colours, and continue to do so for years to come.


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I think most important of all is Kaiden Guhle.


Don’t forget, whomever we select (other than Michkov) with the #5 pick is also likely to be in the mix for a roster spot too. That’s yet another mouth to feed. It reinforces what I’ve been saying for a while, we need to clear out A LOT of bodies, the sooner the better. Edmundson, Savard and Wideman all need to go in order to provide a full time spot for our 5 sophomore Dmen and along with Matheson. Even letting all our UFAs walk doesn’t free up enough spots at forward for the incoming kids either. Several vets need to be moved too. The top 6 are spoken for with Suzuki, Caufield, Dach, Anderson, Slafkovsky and our #5 pick. The bottom 6 has Dvorak, Evans, Gallagher, Hoffman, Armia, Pezzetta, Pitlick and Belzile. That’s 8 guys for only 6 spots and we haven’t even mentioned Harvey-Pinard, Ylönen, Richard or Farrell. There’s no point in even considering offering a contract to Gurianov, there’s nowhere for him to play. That’s why any talk of signing ANY free agents this summer is wasted thought. We need a liquidation sale to clear some roster space, and fast! Everything must go! No reasonable offer refused! Well, actually…


Whoever we pick at #5 shouldn’t play in the nhl. Maybe Michkov but he will get at least a year or two before we try to buy out his contract. That leaves a spot open for Gurianov to prove himself or possibly flip him in a deal in a package.


Even if the #5 pick doesn’t play, we still have 6 forwards too many without Gurianov.


Re: Buy Out of KHL contracts? The player, not the team, has to buy out the contract. Each contract is different, so the amount the player would have to pay is unknown.,have%20to%20pay%20is%20unknown.


Probably, but Slafkovsky shouldn’t have been either…

Even if the #5 pick isn’t in Montreal, we still have half a dozen extra forwards that have nowhere to play in the NHL. Something has to give.


The 4 you mention, Pezzetta, Belzile, Pitlick, Farrell, plus Richard and Gurianov if he were to be tendered an offer. And that doesn’t take into account someone else coming into camp and proving they’re ready (although if they’re waiver exempt like Farrell still, off to Laval you go kiddo).

Sheer numbers aren’t the entire problem though. As you can see on the depth chart you have listed, having RHP and Ylönen on the 4th line isn’t ideal. A guy like Ylönen shouldn’t be developed as a 4th liner if we’re wanting him to be a 2nd line talent and/or PP weapon. And RHP already has proven he can play with skilled players and produce. His shooting % indicates he’s not likely to repeat at quite the same pace, but he’s still better utilized than as a 4th line plugger/energy guy.

Derrek Cauchi

Beck is a pro and has nothing more to learn in junior. The Habs need to clear out space for their best prospects. He is the best not already in the lineup. He’d be great with Harvey-Pinard and Yolynen. Mediocre vets need to be moved and marginal prospects yet to prove themselves need to do so in Laval or also be shown the gate.