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Habs Prospects

Montreal Canadiens Send First-Round Pick To The OHL



Montreal Canadiens prospect Filip mesar

The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they have sent prospect Filip Mesar to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Mesar, 19, will report to the Kitchener Rangers, the same team for which he played last season. In 52 games with the Rangers, Mesar scored 17 goals and 34 assists, slightly below a point-per-game average.

The Habs also announced that forward Joel Armia has been recalled from their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.

Montreal Canadiens Mesar Situation

The 2022 first-round pick was left off the Laval Rocket’s season-opening lineup, as well as their second game of the season. Head coach Jean-Francois Houle inserted him into the lineup for the third and fourth games of the schedule, but Mesar was used sparingly, mostly relegated to bottom-six duties.

He did manage to register his first professional point in North America against the Rochester Americans on Friday night, but it was quite clear that his head coach did not intend to give him enough important minutes to sustain a legitimate development plan.

The re-assignment to the OHL may be seen as a step backward by some, and there’s something to be said about putting him in the OHL after he already played two professional seasons in Slovakia, but for now, the only thing that matters in Mesar’s case is finding a situation that’s conducive to gaining confidence.

Kitchener had a hard time last season from a chemistry point of view, which led to the team firing their head coach midway through the season.

This season, things are off to a much better start. The Rangers are currently second in the OHL standings, having won seven of their first nine games. They’ve outscored their opponents 50-26 in that time, one of the best goal differences in the entire league.

Ideally, unlike last season, Mesar will be used as a centre by the Rangers. He’s much more comfortable when he has control of the puck and can drive the offence through the neutral zone.