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Canadiens Prospect Review: Jared Davidson Beat The Odds



Montreal Canadiens prospect Jared Davidson

Montreal Canadiens prospect Jared Davidson has had to fight tooth and nail for his opportunities.

The Edmonton native was ignored on two occasions at the NHL Entry Draft, only to finally hear the Canadiens call his name during the fifth round of the 2022 Draft.

Less than a year later Davidson has evolved into one of the most interesting prospects in the Canadiens organization thanks to his unique combination of skills and his seemingly limitless reserve of energy.

Drafting overage players can present a risk regarding their overall potential, but in some cases, such as Davidson’s, a player may take a little longer to find their rhythm.

By the Numbers

Davidson served as an alternate captain for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, one of the most talent-laden Junior teams in the country.

Not to be outdone by his teammates that were drafted earlier than himself, Davidson led his team in scoring during the past two seasons, with 89 points and 82 points, respectively.

Davidson managed multi-point efforts in 21 games this season, including 11 games in which he earned three points or more. He maintained his solid production during the WHL playoffs, playing a big part in the Thunderbirds’ Championship run, scoring 11 goals and 12 assists in 19 games.

Despite spending the majority of his time away from the top line, Davidson managed to produce an impressive number of shots, to the tune of 285 in just 60 games (4.75 shots per game).

To put a fine point on his penchant for generating a high volume of shots, Davidson was held without a shot just once last season, whereas he managed five shots or more on 23 occasions. He also managed to win upwards of 57 percent of his faceoffs in 2022-23.

What The Prospect Experts Are Saying

Cam Robinson, Director of Film Scouting for EliteProspects.

“Jared Davidson is a great story. He was a walk-on with the Thunderbirds as a 16-year-old, worked his way up from the fourth line, to the third line, all the way to being a top option in all situations on a championship-calibre squad. It landed him a fifth-round draft selection and will likely earn him an entry-level contract soon as well.”

“Davidson is relentless on the forecheck. He takes good routes and works the cycle successfully. He wins big faceoffs. He transitions the puck effectively with a shifty and disruptive style, and he’s unafraid to throw nearly everything on goal. He’s not an elite finisher but collects off of a volume approach that works for him. I don’t foresee this being a highly productive NHLer, but the type who can play in multiple situations, be a versatile tool for a coach to use, and can chip in with some points when needed.”


As Robinson points out, Davidson does not necessarily have an elite shot, however, he does possess one of the best one-timers in the WHL, and he’s not afraid to use it.

In fact, Davidson has never seen a shooting opportunity he did not like. This volume-first approach leads to a bevy of second-chance scoring opportunities for his teammates.

I wouldn’t necessarily say his playmaking is elite, but he has shown flashes of brilliance in the offensive zone. More than anything, Davidson has a knack for creating time and space on the rush for his linemates, drawing in defenders and forcing them to abandon their defensive coverage.

Of course, playing as a 20-year-old in the WHL means we must take his offensive impact with a grain of salt, but the shifts in which Davidson is on the ice and the puck does not end up near the opponent’s net are few and far between.

He’s also a fierce competitor, as evidenced by his tireless work on the forecheck.


Davidson’s skating could stand to be improved, though calling it a weakness is probably a harsh evaluation. His first stride is solid, as is his top-end speed, but his lateral transitions need work.

And while his nose for the net is quite impressive, it must be said that Davidson has essentially forgone any sort of defensive play to focus on an offence-only style of play.

It has served him well in the WHL, but it’s unlikely to impress coaches once he makes the jump to professional hockey.

The same can be said about his elevated shooting rate. He generates a ridiculous number of shots in the WHL, but he’s unlikely to have the same opportunities in the AHL or NHL. He also took advantage of some questionable goaltending to score a fair amount of his goals this season, using his deceptive release to fool goaltenders rather than accuracy.

What’s Next

Davidson turns 21 in July, which means he’s no longer eligible to play in the CHL and there’s a decision to be made regarding his immediate playing future.

The Canadiens have until June 1, 2024, to sign the late bloomer, which mitigates some of the pressure, but it’s doubtful the team projects Davidson as a player that will earn a job at training camp.

The best situation for a versatile prospect such as Davidson, who is yet to sign his entry-level contract in the NHL, is to offer him the same type of deal the Canadiens gave Rafael Harvey-Pinard, a one-year ‘show-me’ deal in the AHL.

It would serve as the perfect opportunity to gauge his impact versus professional players, as well as a chance to work on some of the fine details of his game.

And given his track record, which includes his fair share of fights, it shouldn’t take Davidson much time to emerge as one of the fan favourites in the Laval Rocket lineup.

All statistics via EliteProspects and the WHL.

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I’m sure he expects to be in Laval. Training camp will be interesting. Looking forward to watching all Laval games on AHL tv as I live in Calgary