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Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings

Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings: Mailloux And Beck Shine

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Montreal Canadiens defenceman Logan Mailloux

Welcome back to the Montreal Canadiens prospect power rankings!

There was a lot of movement in our rankings, including a new yet familiar player taking the top spot away from goaltender Jacob Fowler, as well as a meteoric rise by defenceman Logan Mailloux.

It’s important to remember these rankings are for prospects who are 23 and under, and not currently playing in the NHL. They’re also power rankings, which means the various prospects will move up and down the list depending on their recent results.

N.B. The statistics used this week are from December 16 to January 30.

Let’s dive right into it!


Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings

1. Lane Hutson, Defenceman, Boston University (NCAA). Drafted: 62nd overall (2022) Age: 19

Season Results: 22 GP, 10 G, 21 A, 31 PTS. Recent Results: 7 GP, 2G, 9A, 11 PTS
Last Rank: No.2 (+1)

Phenom Lane Hutson once again jumped to the top spot in the Canadiens prospect power rankings. On top of being named to the 2024 World Junior Championship All-Star Team, the high-flying defenceman returned to the NCAA and immediately started scoring, as expected. His role with Team USA gave us an opportunity to evaluate Hutson’s defensive prowess, which has improved by leaps and bounds since he was drafted.

We all expect Hutson to score at an incredible rate for a defenceman, but there’s still some work to be done when it comes to his defensive positioning, as well as his ability to shut down the rush.

Fortunately, we’re seeing tangible evidence of a more mature, defensively aware player on the ice for Boston University.

Boston University is in the midst of one of their worst losing streaks in the last few seasons, a three-game slump thanks to back-to-back losses to Boston College, as well as a hard-fought 3-2 loss against Northeastern on Wednesday.

But even when his team is in trouble, Hutson tends to rise to the occasion, as evidenced by his two primary assists against the Huskies. His second point resembled a play involving Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and a perfect cross-ice pass, but in this case, Hutson set up his brother, Quinn, perfectly.

Despite the recent losses, Boston University is the third-ranked team in the NCAA, which means we should not expect Hutson to join the Laval Rocket any time soon. Their regular season ends on March 9, but there’s a strong possibility they could make it to the Frozen Four, which takes place in mid-April.

Regardless of when he signs his entry-level contract, fans can rest easy knowing that Hutson has done a great job improving his weaknesses while maintaining an elite level of production.

2. Jacob Fowler, Goaltender, Boston College (NCAA), Drafted 69th overall (2023). Age: 19.

Season Results: 23 GP, 18-4-1 record, 2.25 GAA, .924 SV%. Recent Results: 5-1-0, .907 save percentage.
Last Rank: No.1 (-1)

Fowler dropped from the top spot on our list due to a couple of bad games. To be more accurate, they were bad outings for Fowler’s standard, which has been quite high since he joined the NCAA this season.

Even though he allowed four goals in back-to-back games earlier this month, there’s no doubt Fowler has established himself as the organization’s top goaltender prospect, as well as one of the best prospects, full stop.

He kept Hutson and top-2024 Draft prospect Macklin Celebrini off the scoresheet when Boston College faced their rivals, Boston University. It was only the third time this season both players did not manage to earn at least one point and just the first time since November.

Fowler’s greatest strength is his anticipation and positioning. It allows him to minimize last-second adjustments, which means he tends to be set for every shot he faces. Remember, a moving goalie is a vulnerable goalie.

If there’s one criticism to be had, it’s that Fowler still sits a little too far back in his net, which is quite common for goaltenders with big frames. That being said, he’s already cut down the number of times he’s slightly too far back prior to a shot. It’s easy to forget, but Fowler is a rookie, whereas the majority of starting goaltenders in the NCAA are several years older.

He will continue to improve, and thanks to Boston College’s dominant play this year, there are good odds Fowler will be involved in a healthy run to the Frozen Four.

 

3. Owen Beck, Centre, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Drafted: 32nd overall (2022), Age: 19

Season Results: 34 Gp, 21 G, 24 A, 45 PTS. Weekly Results: 9 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 PTS.
Last Rank: No.4 (+1)

Beck jumps back into the top 3 in this edition of the Canadiens prospect power rankings due to his excellent play with the Memorial Cup hosts, the Saginaw Spirit. Beck has scored five goals and 10 assists in just nine games with his new team, which projects to 113 points in a pro-rated, 68-game season.

His recent uptick in scoring should provide some relief to fans who were highly critical of Beck’s production while playing for the Peterborough Petes. It’s not that he suddenly decided he wanted to score 1.66 points per game, rather, it’s because the Spirit are using him in a situation that’s conducive to scoring.

It’s an important lesson for all to recall when analyzing hockey players. Usage is the most important aspect of any prospect development.

Look for Beck to finish the season on a strong note and attempt to maintain his momentum in the playoffs. He’s guaranteed to once again participate in the Memorial Cup, where his defensive prowess, faceoff efficiency, and offensive instincts will be on full display for all to see.

4. Logan Mailloux, Defenceman, Laval Rocket (AHL). Drafted: 31st overall (2021), Age: 20

Season Results: 40 GP, 10 G, 18 A, 28 PTS. Recent Results: 16 GP, 6 G, 9 A, 15 PTS
Last Rank: No.9  (+5)

Thanks to an excellent run from an offensive standpoint, defenceman Logan Mailloux makes the biggest jump on our list.

He benefited from Arber Xhekaj’s presence on his pairing, which led to an immediate uptick in scoring as well as improved defensive numbers, but it would be unfair to give Xhekaj all the credit.

Mailloux is making better decisions at both ends of the rink, and he’s making fewer mistakes with the puck on his blade. His improved play, along with his excellent production of nearly a point per game in January, is the reason Mailloux was invited to represent the Laval Rocket at the AHL All-Star festivities.

He’s taking more than two shots per game and is currently third in the AHL when it comes to total shots produced from a rookie defenceman. That’s very encouraging since the biggest concern for him was whether his offence would translate to the professional level.

It’s still a little early to suggest he should be playing in the NHL, but there’s no doubt Mailloux has improved many of his weaknesses since making his professional hockey debut in October.

5. Joshua Roy, Right Wing, Laval Rocket (AHL). Drafted: 150th overall (2021), Age: 20

Season Results: 36 GP, 12 G, 18 A, 30 PTS.  Recent Results: 9 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS.
Last Rank: No.5 (N/A)

It may feel unfair, but despite his excellent showing with the Canadiens during his audition in January, Joshua Roy has not jumped up our rankings due to a slightly slower scoring pace than usual in the AHL.

That’s not to say four goals and three assists in nine games is bad. Frankly, it’s quite good, especially when we consider he may have had Montreal on his mind upon returning to the AHL. Roy is bound to make his way back to the NHL in the future, and if he keeps up his excellent play, it will be difficult to come up with a valid reason to once again demote him.

His defensive play is excellent and his natural offensive talent is impossible to ignore.

Roy is currently second in AHL rookie scoring with 12 goals and 18 assists in 36 games, trailing only phenom Logan Stankoven, who has scored an impressive 20 goals and 30 assists in 39 games for the Texas Stars.

6. Filip Mesar, Right Wing, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Drafted: 26th overall (2022). Age: 19

Season Results: 25 GP, 15 G, 21 A, 36 PTS. Recent Results: 5 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PTS
Last Rank: No.3 (-3)

Mesar had an excellent showing at the 2024 World Junior Championship, which limited the number of games he’s played since we did our last Canadiens prospect power rankings.

He also missed a few games in the OHL with what appeared to be an upper-body injury, possibly a concussion. The good news is that Mesar returned to play on Wednesday to face the London Knights.

He was a little more tentative than usual, par for the course when freshly recovered from an injury. Interestingly, it was not his offensive play that stole the spotlight, but rather his work during the penalty kill.

As it stands, Mesar is projected to finish the season with 27 goals and 38 assists in 45 games, good for 1.44 points per game, quite the improvement over his 0.98 points-per-game scoring rate during his rookie year.

The only reason he dropped in our power rankings was due to other prospects playing slightly better.

 

7. David Reinbacher, Defenceman, EHC Kloten (NL). Drafted: 5th overall (2023), Age: 19

Season Results: 26 GP, 1 G, 10 A, 11 PTS. Recent Results: 10 GP, 5 A.
Last Rank: No.6 (-1)

And so we arrive at the most polarizing prospect in the organization.

David Reinbacher had a very good stretch from an offensive standpoint, at least relative to his lack of production earlier this season. Five assists in 10 games is a big improvement.

He’s also looked a lot more comfortable, which means his mobility has improved. It was an area of concern at the start of the season. Not only did suffer an injury which limited his games played, but he also put on a lot of mass this summer, which slowed him down.

There’s also the matter of the lack of consistency, as evidenced by the fact that he’s playing for his third head coach this season.

EHC Kloten has been a mess, and it has hindered his development, but there is some good news when it comes to Reinbacher’s eventual arrival in North America once his season in Switzerland is over.

Kloten has won five games in a row, and if they continue to pick up points they may avoid having to participate in the playout to determine which team will be promoted and which team will be relegated.

As it stands, Kloten is still second-last in the standings, which means if the playout began today, they’d be involved. But with the recent wins and the new coaching staff, it seems like they may avoid the additional hockey once the season is over on March 4.

It should also be noted that Reinbacher’s ice time has gone down a little in recent weeks. This correlates with the higher scoring pace.

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8. Adam Engstrom, Defenceman. Rogle BK Angelholm (SHL). Drafted: 92nd overall (2022), Age: 20

Season Results: 38 GP, 3 G,  13 A, 16 PTS. Recent Results: 12 GP, 1, 4 A, 5 PTS
Last Rank: No.7  (-1)

Defenceman Adam Engstrom maintains his rank in the top 10, doing so while playing on a struggling Rogle squad that has lost four games in a row. Again, we have to keep usage in mind when evaluating these players. Rogle has allowed 109 goals against this season while only scoring 89 of their own.

In Engstrom’s case, just like Reinbacher, his time on ice has been lowered slightly, but his production remained the same, a positive note for the silky-smooth skater.

He’ll have to improve his defensive play if he’s to earn a permanent job in the NHL one day, but for now, despite being in a difficult situation, Engstrom continues to produce at an encouraging rate. His creativity in the offensive zone is highly entertaining, and his point shot has improved significantly since he was drafted.

 

9. Bogdan Konyushkov, Defenceman, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod ). Drafted: 110th overall (2023), Age: 20

Season Results: 56 GP, 6 G, 19 A, 25 PTS. Recent Results: 17 GP, 2G, 5A, 7 PTS
Last Rank: No.10 (+1)

Not only has Bogdan Konyushkov been serving as Torpedo’s captain, but he’s also on the ice for roughly half the shifts handed out by head coach Igor Larionov.

And that’s not an exaggeration, either.

In his last six games, Konyushkov has been given more than 25 minutes of ice time on five occasions. And the one game in which he played less than 25 minutes was incredibly close to qualifying, as he played 24:15.

His production is excellent, his usage is impressive, and his leadership has come to the forefront in a league where young defencemen rarely receive opportunities to shine.

Konyushkov won’t make his way to North America for a few seasons, but in the meantime, fans can be sure this Canadiens prospect is enjoying a fantastic development curve in Russia.

10. Cedrick Guindon, Centre, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Drafted: 127th overall (2022), Age: 19

Season Results: 46 GP, 20 G, 24 A, 44 PTS. Recent Results: 16 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 PTS
Last Rank: 8th (-2)

Guindon is at risk of dropping off our Canadiens prospect list for the first time this season. He’s a very underrated prospect who tends to score more often than the rest of the prospects on our list, but his play in January has not been up to snuff.

10 points in 16 games is a decent output in the CHL, but it’s not enough to climb our list. It’s just enough to fend off the prospects hoping to jump into the top 10, at least for now. On top of a slower scoring pace, his defensive play has left something to be desired in January.

Guindon is a fourth-round pick, which means his mere presence on our list is somewhat surprising, and the expectations should be tempered.

But he’ll need to return to scoring more than a point per game if he’s to improve his ranking and fend off prospect Oliver Kapanen, whose scoring has picked up significantly in the last few weeks.

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Do you agree or disagree with the Montreal Canadiens prospect power rankings? If so, let us know which Canadiens prospect we overlooked or overhyped in the comments below!

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Anthony

My favourite writing that you do. Wish you would go back to the weekly updates

peter

Guindon is not a prospect he is undersized and in this his third junior season is showing no improvement as his points per game is basically the same.I would rate Florian Xhekaj higher than him as he has size being a half a foot taller than Guindon and around the same points per game average.Also Yevgeni Volokhin is doing great as well with a 1.60 goals against average with a .937 save percentage.Older draft picks that are still improving include Luke Tuch having more points than last season in 16 less games, the same is true for Rhett Pitlick.

Tyrone

With Fowler only being 6’1”, I wouldn’t necessarily classify that as a “big frame”, unless you are referring to him being overweight in the past.

Anthony

ish you would go back to the weekly u

Anthony

ks for taking the time to read it. Admittedly, it was a much longer break this time around, and I do apologize for that. I’ll make sure we get th

Anthony

much longer break ths time aro

Anthony

oints per game average.Also Yevgeni Volokhin is doing great as well with a 1.60 goals against average with a .937 save percentage.Older draft picks that are

Robin

In the 5th round of the 2023 draft the Canadiens drafted a goalie named Yevgeni Volokhin He is playing in the Russian Junior League and has the fifth best save percentage in the league 93.5 %. He might be a good prospect.

Rocks

If Reinbacker was eligible for this year’s draft instead, would he even go in the first round?

Joe

Dobes should be on that list

jo

r userious lol
hope not

Farrel maybe

or Kidney