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Canadiens To Participate In 2023 Prospect Challenge In Buffalo



Montreal Canadiens Prospects

The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they will once again be heading to New York State to participate in the Prospect Challenge, hosted by the Buffalo Sabres at the LECOM Harborcenter.

The tournament, which runs from September 15 to September 18, will feature five other NHL teams: the Ottawa Senators, the New Jersey Devils, the Boston Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and, of course, the Sabres.

Each team will play on three different occasions throughout the weekend, with the Canadiens scheduled to face the Sabers on Friday, at 7 pm ET, the Bruins on Saturday, at 3:30 PM ET, and finally, the Ottawa Senators on Monday at 1:30 PM ET.

The tournament is the perfect opportunity for prospects to get noticed, as evidenced by Arber Xhekaj’s recent emergence. Well before Xhekaj decided to steal Zack Kassian’s soul in the NHL, he was busy driving the entire Senators roster up a wall thanks to his physical play and penchant for overpowering his opponents.

Xhekaj’s play in transition was encouraging, but things really started going his way when he knocked out Senators prospect Zach Massicotte with a flurry of punches that would have felled a water buffalo.

The rookie tournament in 2022 also allowed Canadiens prospect Owen Beck to announce his arrival in the organization. The cerebral centre stood out from the crowd, both offensively and defensively. He would go on to earn an early entry-level contract from the Canadiens shortly afterwards.

MUST READ: Canadiens Prospect Owen Beck Steals The Show In Buffalo

The exact list of players taking part in the tournament has not been released, but we do know that Montreal Canadiens will be coached by Laval Rocket head coach Jean-Francois Houle, a fitting assignment given that many of the players that will feature in the tournament are likely to end up being playing in the AHL.

The tournament will mark the continuation of the Canadiens’ rookie camp, which is set to begin on September 13 in Brossard.