The Montreal Canadiens have announced their 2023 Rookie camp roster, with 27 players invited to attend the festivities. The Canadiens rookie camp opens on September 13, in Brossard.
The roster will include 15 forwards: Florian Xhekaj, Owen Beck, Jared Davidson, Isaac Dufort, Sean Farrell, Cédrick Guindon, Emil Heineman, Riley Kidney, Riley McKay, Filip Mesar, Jan Mysak, Jakov Novak, Joshua Roy, Xavier Simoneau, and Ty Smilanic.
There are also nine defencemen on the list: William Trudeau, Noah Laaouan, Logan Mailloux, Christopher Ortiz, John Parker-Jones, David Reinbacher, Jayden Struble, Miguël Tourigny, and Stanislav Demin.
Just three goaltenders will be present: Quentil Miller, Jakob Dobes, and Jan Spunar.
You’ll note that the list does not include any players scheduled to feature in the NCAA this year, such as Lane Hutson or Jacob Fowler. NCAA players cannot miss any classes to attend either development or rookie camp. They can’t even keep any merchandise given away by the team, seeing as it’s considered ‘material benefits‘ by the NCAA.
Players To Watch
All eyes will be on the fifth-overall pick at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, David Reinbacher.
The well-rounded defenceman is expected to return to Switzerland to play top-pairing minutes with Kloten EHC, however, there’s still an outside chance that he may surprise everyone and earn a job in the NHL.
Again, it’s a long shot, but to earn that job in the NHL he will have to start by impressing at the rookie camp, and then maintain his momentum up until the main Canadiens training camp is underway.
Logan Mailloux is also sure to garner a fair amount of attention. Given that he missed significant portions of key development years, he’s also a longshot to make the NHL team. The bevy of young, talented defencemen ahead of him on the depth list is likely to lead to an AHL assignment. Regardless, this will be an opportunity for Mailloux to stand out and climb the list of potential call-ups. There’s also a chance he impresses the coaching staff with his excellent shot, which could lead to an extended audition once the season starts.
Forwards On The Move
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Owen Beck, who impressed the Canadiens so much during his rookie camp last year that he ended up earning an early entry-level contract. Due to the incredibly archaic agreement between the NHL and the OHL, Beck cannot be assigned to the AHL. This means that if he hopes to avoid another year in the OHL, he’ll have to have yet another dominant camp.
There’s a quartet of players that are closer to being NHL-ready than Beck, which will complicate things.
Joshua Roy, Emil Heineman, Riley Kidney, and Sean Farrell are ready to start their professional North American hockey careers in earnest, with both Farrell and Heineman having some professional experience under their belt. But despite not having the same level of experience, Roy, who developed into a true 200-foot player, may have the inside track to earning a job with the Montreal Canadiens.
Farrell has a certain level of defensive awareness, but neither Heineman nor Kidney has high-end defensive acumen, which once again puts Roy in the driver’s seat.
The rookie camp will also present a good opportunity for some players who faded down the stretch last season, such as Filip Mesar and Cedrick Guindon. Both were 18 years old, which explains the lack of consistency. Mesar will attempt to climb the list of potential forward call-ups playing for the Laval Rocket.
And finally, goaltender Jakub Dobes will also be under the microscope.
The Montreal Canadiens’ goaltending situation is far from stable, which may give a player such as Dobes an opportunity to shine in the AHL. He had an excellent, albeit short career in the NCAA, playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and is looking to establish himself as one of the most important goaltenders in the organization.