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Habs Prospects

Habs Prospects: Reinbacher Watch, Engstrom’s ELC, Konyushkov



Montreal Canadiens david reinbacher

Now that EHC Kloten’s regular season is over, all eyes are on Montreal Canadiens prospect David Reinbacher.

Kloten finished as the second-worst team in the National League (NL), which means they’re preparing to face Ajoie in the playout round. This round will establish which team will stay in the NL, as well as the organization that will have to face the winners of the Swiss League (SL) playoffs.

But there’s an important caveat when it comes to the SL champions, one that will impact when Reinbacher is scheduled to arrive in North America.

Simply put, only two teams are eligible to be promoted to the NL from the SL: Olten and Visp. If neither team manages to win, the playout round between Ajoie and Kloten is no longer necessary, which means Reinbacher is free to make his way to Canada in mid-March rather than mid-April.

For a more detailed explanation of his situation, you can click here.

SL Playoffs Update

Visp was eliminated in four games by La Chaux-de-Fonds, leaving just one team, Olten, in the mix.

Heading into Sunday, Olten was tied in their series with the CGK Lions, but they managed to secure an important 5-2 win to take a 3-2 series lead.

The dates for the last two games in the series are scheduled for March 12 and March 15, whereas the first playout round in the NL is scheduled for March 16.

The odds of seeing Reinbacher arrive earlier took a big hit on Sunday, but there’s still a chance the Lions will win two games in a row.

Montreal Canadiens Reinbacher SL


Across The Pond

Montreal Canadiens prospect Bogdan Konyushkov was eliminated from the KHL playoffs by SKA.

He finished the season as Torpedo’s captain while playing some of the heaviest minutes in the league as a 21-year-old defenceman, which is rather impressive seeing as he’s playing in one of the best leagues on earth, a league that rarely allows young defencemen to prove their worth.

On top of the heavy usage, Konyushkov finished the year with six goals and 22 assists in 65 games. For the record, forward Maxim Letunov led the team in scoring with 48 points, which gives you a good idea of Konyushkov’s offensive impact on the blue line.

He’s not among those who are expected to arrive in Canada any time soon, and given the war Russia is currently waging, there are some legitimate concerns as to whether Konyushkov will be allowed to make the jump to North America once his three-year contract extension in the KHL is over.

But recent declarations by Torpedo’s general manager indicate the team is not interested in holding Konyushkov back at the detriment of his long-term success with the Montreal Canadiens.

Swedish Situation

The SHL’s regular season is winding down, which means we can start to discuss when defenceman Adam Engstrom will sign his entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

There are still some games left to play. Rogle will face Modo in their last regular season game on March 12, and then they will head to the SHL playoffs, where they will feature in an eighth-final series to see if they can qualify for the quarter-finals.

The smooth-skating defenceman with high-end offensive talent has scored four goals and 17 assists this season while playing for a Rogle club that had its fair share of setbacks, which led to the team replacing their coaching staff midway through the schedule.

Even though Laval could stand to use some reinforcements, and Engstrom would certainly help the lineup in their chase for the playoffs, we have to acknowledge that he’s currently playing important minutes in a very strong league, and there’s very little downside to a prospect gaining more professional experience, especially playoff experience.

Other European Prospect Notes and News

  • Prospect Vinzenz Rohrer had a very solid season in the NL. Making the jump from the OHL to professional hockey is always a difficult proposal. It means less ice time and fewer opportunities. With that in mind, Rohrer was a strong presence on the third line for one of the better teams in the league. On top of scoring seven goals and 12 assists for the ZSC Lions, Rohrer also quickly added a pest element to his toolbag, creating chaos in the crease and frustrating opposing players with his high-end work ethic.

  • Prospect Filip Eriksson did not have a very encouraging season in the SHL, with just six assists in 29 games for the Vaxjo Lakers. But his season turned around once he was loaned to the HockeyAllsvenskan. With 10 goals and 14 assists in 21 games, Eriksson earned well over a point per game, a very encouraging turnaround for a player who does not get much recognition in North America.


  • Goaltender Yevgeni Volokhin had a fantastic season from a statistical standpoint. Now, we have to remind ourselves he’s playing in the MHL, which is the Russian equivalent of Junior hockey. On that note, he produced a sparkling 1.,57 goals against average, as well as an impressive .938 save percentage in 31 games for Mamonty Yugry. But this is the part where I have to admit I have not been able to watch Volohkin play a single game this season. This is the primary reason why I haven’t discussed him much in the various prospect reports. I like to watch at least 20 games before making any sort of declaration about a prospect, and even then, 20 games is often not enough. I apologize for the lack of first-hand information, but there were simply no feeds available to watch junior Russian hockey. That being said, when we take a quick look at Volohkin’s Elite Prospect page, it’s quite evident the 18-year-old goaltender has a penchant for being a dominant presence in the crease.

montreal canadiens volohkin