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Montreal Canadiens Among Best Prospect Pools In The NHL



Montreal Canadiens David Reinbacher

One of the most interesting aspects of the post-draft evaluations for NHL teams is how they rank against various other prospect pools, and when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens, the outlook is rather encouraging.

Top Prospect Pool

According to Byron Bader, the Montreal Canadiens have the second-best prospect pool strength in the entire league, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets for the top spot.

Bader is a data analysis expert who created prospect cards, giving us insight into the potential of certain prospects based on historical comparisons. If you’d like to support his excellent work, I suggest subscribing to his prospect analysis service.

According to Bader, the Canadiens happen to own one of the most well-rounded prospect pools, with talented players in every position.

His rankings include some players who have already played in the NHL, such as Juraj Slafkovsky. He suggests the team has almost 30 players with NHL potential in the prospect pool, with several of the aforementioned players possessing ‘Top 5 Star Rank’.

An excellent pool with nearly 30 potential NHL pieces in it,” said Bader. “Few teams have that type of arsenal of high-calibre pieces in the system.”

MUST READ: David Reinbacher Jumps To Top Spot In Montreal Canadiens Prospect Rankings

David Reinbacher, Slafkovsky, Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson, and Justin Barron lead the charge in Bader’s analysis. The Canadiens were ranked 3rd in the NHL the last time Bader performed his deep dive on every NHL team’s prospect pool.

NHL Prospect pool rankings - Montreal Canadiens

Of course, like any organization, the Canadiens could stand to improve certain aspects of their prospect pool.

Work To Be Done

Most notably, the Canadiens lack elite talent in the goaltending department, something the team attempted to improve during the 2023 NHL Draft by selecting three goalies. Jacob Fowler may be able to turn the tide in that department, and Quentin Miller will have an opportunity to shine next season for the Quebec Remparts, but despite the influx of goaltenders, it’s fair to say the team still lacks a netminder with elite potential.

Bader suggests the Canadiens also lack elite talent among skaters. In the sense that the majority of their players have high potential, but not necessarily superstar potential. Drafting a player such as Matvei Michkov would have solved that organizational weakness, however, we must also keep in mind that drafting Reinbacher is the main reason the Canadiens moved to the second overall spot in these rankings. Speaking of Michkov, he’s the reason the Philadelphia Flyers jumped from the 7th overall spot to 3rd.

As you see, these rankings put an onus on players with superstar potential, based on the fact that almost every team to win the Stanley Cup in recent years has iced a roster filled with superstars. The St-Louis Blues were the lone exception.

Brass Tacks

There’s no doubt about it, the Montreal Canadiens have a rather bright future. A significant portion of the players they’ve drafted project to be impact players. The team will need to add elite talent to the mix if they truly hope to become a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, but for now, it’s safe to say the Canadiens’ rebuild is on track.

The strong prospect pool should come into play as early as next year, with players such as Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, Logan Mailloux, and others potentially making their professional hockey debut in earnest. Not to mention, players such as Sean Farell and Emil Heineman will continue to build upon the momentum they generated toward the end of the season.

MUST READ: Canadiens AHL Projected Forward Lineup For The Laval Rocket

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Who is the Vegas superstar?


I think this system is a tad wonky…

Jack is a hair under a pt per game for his 8 yr career, and he is at his peak right now. That’s a great center, but not a “superstar” in my book. There is no higher ranking than superstar, so McJesus and McKinnon and Matthews and Jack can’t be equal.
Stone has never gone over 28 goals and 64 pts in a season. And he is now on the downside of his career. He is very good, but def NOT a superstar.

IMO, Vegas was another team like STL in 2019, which had no clear superstars. But they won the cup with many excellent all around players. Even the AVs last year…without Kadri having a one-time beyond miracle season (which he never did before or since) AND adding Lek at the TDL, would they have won the cup?

All I’m saying is that having multiple “superstars” on your roster does not significantly increase your chances of winning a Cup. Just ask EDM and the Leafs.

We should fancy being #2 on that list, as many of our prospects are pegged to become very good or better NHL players. With a ton of those players, at least one Cup can be won.


Another interesting article, Marc. Keep up the great work

Last edited 4 months ago by Rolling

Any way to find out who are the 11 Top 5 Star Ranking prospects, and who is the lone top 5 NHLer Ranking prospect?


Yes, pay for the subscription


Thanks for the tip, genius.


While I don’t know how his system works, I can surmise from the data presented above that those numbers are rankings out of 32, not number of players in that category. So they are 11th of 32 in “Top 5 Star Ranking” and 1st of 32 in “Top 5 NHLer Ranking”…whatever that all means. I guess that’s why he’d like us to subscribe…to get those details.

Pierre B.

Here is my best guess in how to interpret these numbers. First, the number indicated in the table is the rank for each of the catogories.
“Top 5 star rank” considers the top 5 prospects only (for Montreal, it is said to be Reinbacher, Slafkovsky, Guhle, Hutson, Barron) and their model projects how many stars will emerge of this group – the number obtained is likely the sum of star probability of each of these 5 prospects.
“Top 5 NHLer rank” considers the top 5 prospects only and their model projects how many NHLers will emerge of this group – the number here is the sum of NHLer probability of each of these 5 prospects.
“Depth star rank” considers the prospects other than the top 5 and their model projects how many stars will emerge of this group – the number here is the sum of star probability of each of these prospects.
“Depth NHLer rank” considers the prospects other than the top 5 and their model projects how many NHLers will emerge of this group – the number here is the sum of NHLer probability of each of these prospects.
As for the overall rank, it must be some weighted number between the stars and the NHLer numbers. Are stars valued as much as they should vs NHLer? It really depends on the team’s needs. A team with several stars may want more NHLers on ELC for cap compliance reasons while a rebuilding team may prefer more stars.
This exercice is fun, but it is only the prospects. When one considers all players under 23 or 25, the results may vary a lot.