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Habs Wrap: NCAA Prospects, Slafkovsky’s Growth, Trade Bait



Montreal Canadiens goaltending prospect Jacob Fowler

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

On Sundays, we will recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week so that you can stay in the loop.


  • Top prospects Filip Mesar and Owen Beck continue to enjoy very solid Draft + 2 seasons in the OHL. It helps that both players are currently on strong teams, but they’re a big part of why the Kitchener Rangers and Peterborough Petes are enjoying so much success. [Montreal Canadiens Prospects Mesar And Beck Erasing Doubts]
  • Saturday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres epitomized entertainment. Jayden Struble scored his first career goal, Cayden Primeau made dozens of high-danger saves, and Juraj Slafkovsky got into a fight. Oh, and he also won the game with a great move in the shootout. [Canadiens Struble Scores, Slafkovsky Stars In Win Vs Sabres
  • The Montreal Canadiens followed up their win with a very strong effort against the Nashville Predators. They had significantly more scoring chances. They also controlled the play for most of the game. But another poor start and a lifeless powerplay cost them in the 2-1 loss. [Ice-Cold Powerplay Costs Canadiens In Loss To Predators]
  • There was some bad news on the injury front. Again. Tanner Pearson is going to miss four to six weeks due to an upper-body injury. He took a puck to the hand in Saturday’s game against the Sabres.



  • In this edition of the Montreal Canadiens Mailbag, we discuss several topics, including where Mattias Norlinder will end up, potential trade ideas due to the surplus of goaltenders, trade ideas submitted by Habs Faifhtul, the Laval Rocket’s difficult season, the three-headed monster that is the goaltending situation, the logjam on defence, Kirby Dach’s injury history, and much more.[Habs Mailbag: Defensive Logjam, Rocket Issues, Trade Options]
  • Several NHL teams could use an upgrade in the goaltending position. Given that Cayden Primeau, Jake Allen, and Samuel Montembeault are among the top 30 goaltenders in the NHL in goals saved above expected, they could help a few teams reach their goals. [Top NHL Teams That Should Trade For Canadiens Goalies
  • Elite Prospects analyst Lassi Alanen released a very interesting breakdown of Canadiens prospect Adam Ensgtrom’s play for Rogle BK in the SHL.

  • Speaking of Engstrom, Rogle decided to fire their coaching staff yesterday. Rogle is currently 11th out of 14 teams in the SHL.



  • Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes had some interesting views on Juraj Slafkovsky’s development path and what’s yet to come for their 1st overall pick. The development of Slafkovsky at this junction of the rebuild is crucial. [Canadiens Kent Hughes On Slafkovsky’s Development & Timeline]
  • In addition to discussing Slafkovsky’s improvements, Hughes also mentioned he wants to see Lane Hutson sign his entry-level contract once Boston University’s season is over.

  • Speaking of Hutson, for those wondering, he’s still very good. There’s room for improvement in his defensive play, but overall, the prospect is trending toward becoming a star player in the NHL.

  • Defenceman Jordan Harris is expected to miss another two weeks.



  • Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis decided to give Samuel Montembeault the start versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.  [Canadiens Game 29: Montembeault To Start Versus Penguins]
  • The Canadiens started the game on the right foot and even had a 3-1 lead, but you can never count out a team with Sidney Crosby in their lineup. Crosby had two goals and an assist, powering a Penguins comeback win.  [Sidney Crosby Reminds Montreal Canadiens He’s Not Done Yet]
  • Habs prospect Owen Beck will once again represent Canada at the World Junior Championship. The 19-year-old centre is likely to play a leadership role for Team Canada as well.

  • Some bad news on the injury front. Tanner Pearson took a puck to the hand which forced him to leave Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. He has since been added to the injured reserve. Laval Rocket forward Emil Heineman received the call from the Canadiens to take Pearson’s place. Heineman has played five games since returning from a concussion, scoring three points. He’s also been engaged in most plays, adding a physical element to his game.



  • The Montreal Canadiens have enjoyed great goaltending this season, but a few concerning statistics are looming over the team’s rebuild. The lack of production among forwards is at the top of the list.  [Concerning Statistics Hanging Heavy Over Canadiens Rebuild]
  • Cayden Primeau, Mike Matheson, Brendan Gallagher, Jake Evans, and Christian Dvorak were not present at practice, with all five players taking a therapy day. Head coach Martin St-Louis also took the time to talk to Cole Caufield, who has struggled to produce goals of late.  [Canadiens Practice: St-Louis Focuses on Caufield, Therapy Days]
  • Kirby Dach is still rehabbing his surgically repaired knee, but in the meantime, he’s doing a co-op in equipment management.

  • Prospect Lane Hutson is gearing up for the 2024 World Junior Championship.

  • As for prospect Jacob Fowler, he is in the running to take over the starting job for Team USA.



  • For the first time in a very long time, there’s a new Montreal Canadiens prospect atop the power rankings. Thanks to his excellent work in the crease, Jacob Fowler took over the No.1 spot from Lane Hutson. Several other prospects climbed the list, while a handful of players dropped in this edition of the Habs prospect power rankings.  [Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings: Fowler Reigns Supreme]
  • Prospect Lane Hutson took the time to discuss his Boston University teammate, Macklin Celebrini. The two form a deadly duo in the NCAA but will be fighting under different flags at the 2024 World Junior Championship.  [Lane Hutson Discusses Macklin Celebrini]
  • Jake Evans was missing from practice, which led to a shakeup in the lines. In an encouraging change, forward Jesse Ylonen practiced on the second line with Sean Monahan and Josh Anderson.

  • Tickets are now on sale for the Montreal PWHL chapter’s home games.

  • Prospect Florian Xhekaj thought he had scored the teddy-bear toss-clinching goal last night, but upon further review it was called off, leading to an awkward situation in Brantford.