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Canadiens AHL Projected Forward Lineup For The Laval Rocket



Canadiens prospect Lias Andersson

With the Montreal Canadiens development camp in full swing, we’re starting to get a better idea of the lineup their affiliate, the Laval Rocket, will ice once the AHL resumes action next season.

As predicted, feisty forward Jared Davidson signed a contract with the Rocket, which will give the Canadiens an extra year to evaluate his progress. As it stands, the Canadiens must sign Davidson by next summer or they will lose his rights. The Rocket also signed several other players, including a pair of goaltenders, a necessary step given there were simply too few netminders n the organization.

In this projection, we will keep in mind that the Canadiens’ NHL lineup is seemingly full, which means top prospects such as Joshua Roy are likely to start the season in the AHL. Things can, and will change. Injuries are inevitable, but for now, we’ll work with what we know.


In previous years the Rocket have been laden with veteran players hailing from other organizations. Players that, for the most part, would not become a part of the long-term plan for the Montreal Canadiens.

However, we’re starting to see a change. And it’s long overdue.

Not only did the Rocket graduate a pair of forwards last year, Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylonen, but they’ll also now have a lineup that will feature a fair amount of players with NHL potential. It’s a necessary change for any team that hopes to bolster its lineup with homegrown talent rather than established AHL mercenaries.

Two prospects hailing from the QMJHL should provide a significant injection of talent to the lineup: Joshua Roy and Riley Kidney. Both have an outside chance of making enough noise at the Canadiens’ training camp to earn an extended audition in the NHL, but again, the Canadiens already have too many forwards pencilled in at the NHL level, which means in all likelihood, they’re headed for the AHL, the logical route for any prospect that doesn’t necessarily stand out as an elite talent.

They’ll be joined by a pair of players that made their North American professional hockey debut last season: Emil Heineman and Sean Farrell. Heineman was a dominant force from the moment he joined the Rocket ahead of their playoff push, scoring an impressive seven goals in just 11 games. Both will be counted upon to be among the primary producers of scoring chances in the lineup, but they won’t have to go at it alone. Top prospect Filip Mesar, who played with the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL last season, is also expected to join the Rocket lineup.

And the interesting offensive options do not stop there. The Montreal Canadiens signed the 7th overall pick at the 2017 Draft, Lias Andersson, to a one-year contract. Andersson, 24, scored 31 goals and 28 assists in 67 games for the Ontario Reign (AHL) last season. Andersson, as well as Philippe Maillet, who scored 22 goals and 31 assists for Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL, should provide a consistent source of offence for Jean-Francois Houle’s team.

There are also a handful of players that already have experience playing for the Rocket, including Xavier Simoneau, Jan Mysak, Mitchell Stephens, and Lucas Condotta. Not to mention, Rem Pitlick and Michael Pezzetta may end up playing with the Rocket due to the aforementioned logjam in the NHL.

Rocket Forward Lineup

We’ll have to get a little creative with the positions, but for now, here’s a rough idea of what the Rocket’s forward lineup may look like.

Emil Heineman – Rem Pitlick – Filip Mesar

Sean Farrell – Joshua Roy – Lias Andersson

Michael Pezzetta – Philippe Maillet – Riley Kidney

Jared Davidson – Xavier Simoneau – Lucas Condotta

extras: Jan Mysak, Jakov Novak, Mitchell Stephens

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I would expect Cedric Guindon to be added soon.
I would prefer to let the draft picks play. We dont know what we have with Mysak (houle doesnt play him)
Mesar shoul stay in OHL for another year.
Pitlick should be moved


Would like to add that Mark and Arpon from the Athletic are hands down the best writers for Hab news.


Sorry Marc auto correct


I think you are wrong about Roy and Pezzetta. Roy is going to push for an NHL job. He may get sent to Laval because there is no room, but once he gets his shot, he will not be going anywhere. Not sure why everyone constantly under rates him. He started the World Juniors on the 4th line and ended up on the top line by the end of the first game. From there the rest is history, except now he is being over looked, again. As for Pezz, he knows his role in Montreal, gladly accepts it and he will fulfill it better than a rookie being placed on the 4th line.


Good comments Davbe !


Habs have to keep an eye on size and toughness ,i like Arbers brother coming into the lineup !


Idk if this is sarcasm or not. Florian had less than .5ppg as a 19 year old in the OHL, and yes, he’s a forward. He wasn’t even on most draft boards at all. There’s no way he cracks the lineup. I doubt he’d make an ECHL team. He will need a while to develop. We’ve seen undrafted and late drafted players do amazing things, so it’s possible he succeeds. I just don’t think it’ll be this year. That kind of output, at that age, for a forward, in that league, is abysmal for someone looking to go pro. Yes, defence is obviously different, but his brother did shock everyone so maybe he does too! I’d love to see it! I just don’t think it’ll happen yet.


Would Pitlick and Pez get through Waivers? I wouldn’t mind if Pitlick left but Pez is a great 12th or 13th forward for a young team. He brings it every shift

Patrick Pilon

Pretty sure Pitlick was waived and passed, last season. I agree with you : losing Pezz’s fabulous haircut would be a waste for the city.

Pierre B.

I’ve seen Roy take faceoffs, but isn’t he more natural as a left-shooting RW.


I don’t think there is any way Pezzetta passes through waivers and they didn’t sign Stephens to an NHL contract to sit the bench in Laval.


Pezetta stays in the NHL , but I’m not sure if Ylonen will .