The fan votes have been counted, and it’s now time to reveal the initial power rankings for Montreal Canadiens prospects.
To kick off our project in 2023-24, rather than solely depending on my opinion, we asked Canadiens fans to vote for the players they consider to be among the top 10 in the prospect pipeline.
From there, we will base our prospect power rankings on their overall season, as well as their most recent week of action. Factors such as the strength of a prospect’s team, the league in which they play, their age, and expectations related to their draft position will also be considered.
We received well over 400 different submissions within a few days, and now it’s time to take a look at how the fans voted to set the initial rankings!
Before we check out the results, it’s important to remember these rankings are for prospects who are 23 and under, and not currently playing in the NHL.
Let’s dive right into it!
Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings Week 1: Initial Rankings
1. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 19
Canadiens fans tend to have varied opinions when it comes to their favourite prospects, but there’s no debate when it comes to the player they think should be ranked No.1 on our list.
More than half the respondents listed Hutson as the top prospect, with over 95 percent of Montreal Canadiens fans suggesting he’s among the top 3. This means Hutson maintains his No.1 spot from the last edition of the prospect power rankings in 2022-23.
Hutson is off to a strong start to his 2023-24 campaign, despite having to nurse a small injury that forced him to miss a game. He currently has two goals and three assists in five games for the Boston University Terriers.
More angles of the sweet Lane Hutson dangle: pic.twitter.com/X9G0I04ezv
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 27, 2023
2. Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Laval Rocket (AHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 20
Roy featured in the top 3 for the majority of the 2022-23 season, and thanks to an excellent start to his professional hockey career, he once again finds himself among the top Habs prospects.
Almost 30 percent of the respondents listed Roy as the team’s top prospect, though it should be noted that he received the exact same number of first-place, second-place, and third-place votes.
His production in the AHL has cooled a little since his exciting start, but he’s still among the top point producers in the league with five goals and seven assists in seven games.
Don’t get too comfortable with seeing Roy in these rankings, because there are very healthy odds that Roy will end up playing for the Habs at some point this season.
He’s one of the few Montreal Canadiens prospects that possesses a complete game, including a stalwart approach to defending.
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 13, 2023
3. David Reinbacher, Defenceman, EHC Kloten (NL). Drafted: 5th overall (2023), Age: 18
Reinbacher received more second-place votes than Roy (121 vs 117), however, he received much fewer votes for first place (77 vs 117), which means he drops to third in our initial rankings, as decided by the fans.
He is one of the few top prospects that will be added to our list this season, and though he’s currently nursing an injury which resulted from an awkward fall into the boards, he’s expected to suit up for Kloten in the near future.
It’s also worth noting that Kloten has struggled without Reinbacher in the lineup. They have only one win in their last five games and are currently ranked 13th in the NL standings. For the record, there are only 14 teams in the league.
Former Hab Nathan Beaulieu recently signed a contract with the Swiss team, which, combined with Reinbacher’s return to play (week-to-week), should bolster Kloten’s blueline significantly.
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 13, 2023
4. Logan Mailloux, Defenceman, Laval Rocket (AHL). Drafted: 31st overall (2021), Age: 20
Mailloux received almost 60 third-place votes, which is why he edged out the No.5 player on our list for fourth place. More than half of Canadiens fans believe he’s a top-5 prospect in the organization, although his votes varied significantly, with about a quarter of the votes placing him between 5th and 10th.
He’s currently dipping his toes in the frigid waters of professional hockey alongside the Laval Rocket. He has scored two goals in seven games and has predictably needed time to adapt to the pace of the game. It’s worth pointing out that the Rocket are struggling from a team standpoint, which means it’s difficult to blame Mailloux for all their defensive woes.
Regardless, this season should give fans and Montreal Canadiens management a much better idea of what Mailloux can bring to the table in a professional setting.
First pro goal for Logan Mailloux!
Joshua Roy feeds him in the slot, and Mailloux buries the goal. pic.twitter.com/LVDtMhUI6F
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 22, 2023
5. Owen Beck, Centre, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 19
The cerebral forward received a handful of votes in the top 3, but for the most part, Habs fans agree he should be listed as either the fourth, fifth, or sixth-best prospect.
Beck is currently plying his trade in the OHL, where he has five goals and two assists in nine games, a fairly impressive level of production when we consider he only had one point in his first six games.
This is an important season for Beck, as many are expecting him to enjoy a surge in production which would match his elite defensive awareness and excellent work at the faceoff dot.
After a slow start, Owen Beck (#GoHabsGo) finally popped off on Oct 21st, scoring a hat-trick and having chances for even more.
• 5 scoring chances, 0.92 xG
• 5 controlled entries
• 3 entries prevented
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) October 26, 2023
6. Emil Heineman, Left Wing, Laval Rocket (AHL), Drafted: 43rd overall (2020), Age: 21.
Despite suffering an injury early in the season when a referee hit him with a flying knee while trying to avoid a play, Heineman is still held in high regard by Canadiens fans, who are desperate to see the team add talented forwards to the lineup.
It may have to do with the fact that he set the AHL on fire last season by scoring seven goals and two assists in 11 games. He has an excellent shot, and though his defensive game leaves something to be desired, there’s no denying the Canadiens could use more shooting talent on their roster.
Heineman is one of the older players on our list, which means we should expect a reasonable amount of offence once he’s healthy.
Emil Heineman left the game after getting a flying knee from the official as he was falling. pic.twitter.com/b1Zb78NqI3
— Jared Book (@jaredbook) October 14, 2023
7. Sean Farrell, C/LW, Laval Rocket (AHL). Drafted: 124th overall (2020), Age: 21
The talented forward was a mainstay in the top 5 last season thanks to his fantastic season with the Harvard Crimson in which he scored 53 points in 34 games, the second-best points-per-game pace in the entire NCAA.
Fans have kept him in the top 10 to start the 2023-24 season, but don’t be surprised if he ends up climbing the rankings shortly. Farrell currently has one goal and four assists in seven games, a healthy production rate when we consider that he’s a rookie who is beginning his professional hockey career in earnest.
Joshua Roy feeds Sean Farrell for his first career AHL goal! pic.twitter.com/FegLrFZFm4
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 21, 2023
8. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 19
The smooth-skating defenceman almost pushed Farrell out of the seventh spot on our list, a testament to his projection as a hybrid defenceman who has all the tools necessary to make an impact in the NHL.
Engstrom has the type of offensive instincts that coaches adore, and he’s done a very good job shoring up his defensive game in the last year. There’s still some work to be done in that respect, but Engstrom’s development in Sweden has been nothing short of impressive.
Adam Engstrom starting to feel himself out there, nearly pulls off something special with a toe drag to get into the slot. pic.twitter.com/fMCRM5HtgW
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) July 4, 2023
9. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 19
The Montreal Canadiens could not provide Mesar with a reasonable amount of ice time in Laval, and consequently sent him back to the OHL to play another season with the Kitchener Rangers. It’s a wise approach when we consider that confidence always plays a major part in the results of young players.
Mesar has only played two games with the Rangers this season, but he’s managed to score a goal and three assists.
Money Mešár is back 💰 @OHLRangers
— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) October 28, 2023
10. Jacob Fowler, Goaltender, Boston College (NCAA), Drafted 69th overall (2023). Age: 18.
Fascinating goaltender prospect Jacob Folwer nabs the final spot in our top 10. He also received a fair amount of votes for a higher position, but many fans also thought he should not feature in the top 10, which is why he dropped a little.
He’s off to a fantastic start to his NCAA career, as evidenced by his 5-1 record and his .919 save percentage. Fowler was named the Hockey East Goaltender Of The Month in October.
I’ve had a chance to watch a handful of his games, and a few things stood out when it comes to his style of play.
He doesn’t waste any energy, he’s excellent at tracking pucks, and he’s fairly boring from a highlight-reel standpoint, which is a good sign for goaltenders.
Most of his highlights will simply show him being in position and making an easy save.
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 28, 2023
The Best Of The Rest (Fan Vote)
11. Defenceman Mattias Norlinder (Laval Rocket, AHL)
12. Forward Riley Kidney (Laval Rocket, AHL)
13. Defenceman Bodgan Konyushkov (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL)
14. Defenceman William Trudeau (Laval Rocket, AHL)
15. Forward Jared Davidson (Laval Rocket, AHL)
16. Defenceman Jayden Struble (Laval Rocket, AHL)
17. Goaltender Jakub Dobes (Laval Rochet, AHL)
18. Forward Oliver Kapanen (Kalpa, Liiga)
19. Forward Florian Xhekaj (Brantford Bulldogs, OHL)
20. Luke Tuch (Boston University Terriers, NCAA)
These aren’t the exact rankings I would have started with, but I do have to admit that Montreal Canadiens fans did a pretty good job identifying which prospects should be considered among the team’s best.
On that note, I was very surprised that neither Vinzenz Rohrer nor Cedrick Guindon received many votes. They’re not the most popular prospects, but they have shown a healthy amount of potential.
As it stands, Guindon has scored six goals and seven assists in 12 games for the Owen Sound Attack this season.
It’s also very clear that the Laval Rocket will carry the bulk of the prospect hopes this season, whereas last season very few of our ranked prospects were playing in the AHL.
Do you agree or disagree with the Montreal Canadiens prospect power rankings vote by the fans? If so, let us know in the comments below!