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Canadiens Prospect Highlights

Habs Wrap: WJC Canadiens, Salary Cap, Trades, Slafkovsky Fight



Montreal Canadiens prospect Filip Mesar

MONTREAL — There’s never a dull moment when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens, but there aren’t always enough hours in the week to keep up with all the news.

For that reason, on Sundays, we will recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week.


  • Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis rolled out brand new lines ahead of Saturday’s game at the Bell Centre versus the Detroit Red Wings. In addition, there was some good news as Arber Xhekaj was seen practicing with a regular jersey. Unfortunately, as is often the case with the Habs, the injury news contained more bad than good. Alex Newhook will miss 10 to 12 weeks with a high ankle sprain. [Canadiens Game 24: Newhook Update, New Forward Lines]
  • It’s a trend. The Canadiens are almost always outscored in the first period. The team is ill-prepared on most nights, and despite showing their mettle late in games, their slow starts are difficult to overcome. [Another Poor Start By Canadiens Costs Them In Loss To Detroit]
  • It was yet another solid weekend for Habs prospect Filip Mesar as he registered points against Niagara and Sarnia.

  • Fellow prospect Owen Beck is also enjoying a great year from an offensive standpoint. He scored his 15th goal of the season against the North Bay Batallion. But as we all know, Beck brings more than just offence to the table.

  • Lane Hutson had a four-point weekend against Merrimack, including a three-point performance on Friday night.



  • The 2024 World Juniors Championship is just around the corner. That means it’s time to take a look at the prospects from the Montreal Canadiens organization that are likely to participate in the tournament for their home countries.  [Canadiens Players On The Radar For 2024 World Juniors]
  • Head coach Martin St-Louis decided to give Juraj Slafkovsky an opportunity to play on the top line alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield versus the Seattle Kraken. [Canadiens Game 25: Juraj Slafkovsky To Play On Top Line]
  • The move paid off, as Slafkovsky enjoyed one of his best games of the year. He was driving the play, drawing calls, and creating time and space for his linemates. The game against the Kraken also featured goals from a few veterans who finally got off the schneid, including Josh Anderson, who scored his first goal of the season. [Canadiens Veterans Score, Slafkovsky Excels In Win Versus Kraken]
  • The Canadiens decided to send defenceman Arber Xhekaj to the AHL. The loan to the Laval Rocket makes sense, given that he has not practiced since he was injured in mid-November. In other words, don’t expect it to be a long-term loan. [Montreal Canadiens Assign Arber Xhekaj To The AHL]
  • Prospect Jacob Fowler has a healthy chance to become Team USA’s top goaltender. He’s been a dominant force since joining the NCAA.



  • Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jayden Struble has looked great according to the eye test. But what about the underlying numbers? There’s some good news, because his possession metrics are great, too.  [Habs Stats Pack – Evaluating Jayden Struble’s NHL Start]
  • Given that Struble is playing very well, it opens up options for the Habs. If they’d like to keep both Struble and Arber Xhekaj in the lineup, they may need to get creative. [Struble Emergence Gives Canadiens Options Moving Forward]
  • Forward Josh Anderson was quite frustrated, and he took out that frustration on a willing fight partner, who immediately regretted his decision to antagonize the Canadiens forward. Since then, Anderson has played much better, including a two-point effort against the Seattle Kraken. [Canadiens Opinion: Josh Anderson’s Fight Could Be Turning Point]
  • The Habs didn’t spend much time practicing on Tuesday morning, but it was for a very good reason. The team made their annual visit to the Montreal Children’s Hospital to spread some holiday cheer and create lifelong memories for some of their most passionate fans. [Canadiens Spread Cheer In Visit To Montreal Children’s Hospital]
  • This is an odd one. Remember former Habs player Marcel Hossa? He never lived up to expectations after the Canadiens drafted him in the first round, but his passion for sports is undeniable. The 42-year-old recently started his boxing career, earning a DQ win versus a Slovakia rapper named ‘Momo’. [Former Canadiens Forward Marcel Hossa Turns To Boxing]


  • The NHL has announced the salary cap is expected to be $87.7 million next season, which represents a year-to-year increase of $4.2 million. It puts the Habs in a very interesting situation. Several contracts will come off the books, and they don’t need to sign any marquee players to big contracts. All things considered, the Habs will have plenty of options due to their salary cap maneuverability next season. [Montreal Canadiens Projected Salary Cap Outlook For 2024-25]
  • Young Montreal Canadiens defenders are knocking on the door to make the jump full-time to the NHL, opening up potential trade possibilities down the line. It hasn’t been an easy time for the Canadiens’ blueline over the last few years with all the injuries, but, with injury comes opportunity, both for the players and the team. [Defensive Depth Creating Trade Flexibility For Canadiens]
  • NCAA expert Chris Peters continues to be one of Jacob Fowler’s biggest fans. Given how well Fowler has played on the big stage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

  • Due to his tenure and respect from the medical community, Dr. Davild Mulder will go down as one of the most respected members in the history of the organization.



  • Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson recently discussed the possibility of playing games in Europe. He would like his team to play in Paris, France, and is aiming to get the cross-Atlantic games scheduled for the 2025-26 season. [The Montreal Canadiens Want To Extend Their International Reach]
  • It seems like the days of starting different goalies every game are over. Samuel Montembeault was given his second start in a row by head coach Martin St-Louis. He also decided to place Joel Armia in the press box to re-insert Michael Pezzetta into the lineup. [Canadiens Game 26: Montembeault Starts, Pezzetta Returns]
  • The Canadiens lost to the Kings again, but unlike their first meeting of the season, they put forth a legitimate effort. The game served as a good reminder that the Habs can’t quite compete with Cup contenders, and that was to be expected. [Montreal Canadiens Loss To The Los Angeles Kings A Reality Check]
  • Defenceman David Savard is nearing a return to play. He skated at the Bell Centre on Thursday morning.



  • TSN updated their ‘Trade Bait’ board, with four Montreal Canadiens players listed. Goaltenders Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau lead the charge as the most likely players to be traded. Veterans Sean Monahan and Mike Matheson also made the list. [Top Montreal Canadiens Players Considered Trade Bait]
  • Speaking of Monahan, he’s among the Habs players who have found their rhythm despite the inconsistency involved in a rebuild. Due to his strong play in recent games, so is Juraj Slafkovsky. [Handful Of Habs Players Impressing Despite Inconsistent Start
  • Cole Caufield isn’t scoring as much as anticipated, but head coach Martin St-Louis is not overly worried given that Caufield has improved his defensive play this season.

  • David Reinbacher played a game against Genève-Servette HC on Friday afternoon. Kloten was outplayed significantly, as has been the case during most of their games this season, but Reinbacher played well, all things considered. His mobility was excellent, and his anticipation was much better than in previous games. He earned one assist in the loss, but more importantly, he was playing with confidence. As it stands, Kloten is still at risk of finishing their season among the bottom-two clubs in the NL, which means they’d have to participate in the league’s ‘playout’ to determine relegation and promotions. The NL’s regular season ends in early March, but if Kloten is forced to play in the playout, Reinbacher’s arrival in Laval will be delayed a little.




  • The Montreal Canadiens won a hard-fought game against the Buffalo Sabes on Saturday. It had a little bit of everything. Fights, hits, dirty plays, nice goals, and excellent saves. It also featured Jayden Struble’s (well-deserved) first NHL goal. Juraj Slafkovsky won the game thanks to a very nice play in the shootout. [Struble Scores In Emotional Win Versus Buffalo]
  • Arber Xhekaj was not there, which meant the Sabres took liberties with some of the Canadiens’ best players, including a dirty cojones poke by Connor Clifton that led to Slafkovsky’s first career fight.