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Canadiens Analysis

Montreal Canadiens Prospect Pool Among Best Ranked In NHL



Montreal canadiens prospects

Ever since Kent Hughes was named the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens in January 2022, he has made a concerted effort to improve not only the number of draft picks but also the development system in which the organization’s prospects are expected to flourish.

The current NHL lineup is yet to really reap the reward of the revamped program, but according to Hockey Prospecting, the future among Canadiens prospects is rather bright.

The rankings are put together by Byron Bader, who you may know as the analyst that Habs fans get irate at when he suggests Juraj Slafkovsky beat the odds following a rather difficult start to the young Slovak’s NHL career. Truth be told, there cannot be bias in Bader’s analysis, as it uses historical numbers to project the potential of various prospects. That’s not to say his analysis is beyond reproach, but outliers such as Slafkovsky are a perfectly normal part of data analysis.

NHL Team Prospect Pool Strength Rankings

You can read more about the ranking methodology here, but it’s important to remember players must have participated in 100 or fewer games to be considered, which means Slafkovsky does not qualify.

Top 5 Star is the average star probability of the top 5 prospects, while Top 5 NHLer is the average NHLer probability of the top 5 prospects. Depth Stars have a 10% chance of becoming a star, Depth NHLers have a 30% chance of becoming an NHLer.

Top 5 prospects considered: Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, Justin Barron, Joshua Roy, Sean Farrell.

Montreal Canadiens prospects

Montreal Canadiens Rankings

According to Bader, the Habs are seventh in the Top 5 Star rank, sixth in the Top 5 NHLer rank, first in the Depth Stars rank, and first in the Depth NHLer rank.

Once all the ranks are tallied, Montreal tied with the Chicago Blackhawks among skater prospects, trailing only the Anaheim Ducks for first in the league.

This lines up with our detailed analysis, especially among defensive prospects. The Habs have an embarrassment of riches on the blue line, headlined by phenom Lane Hutson. Bader isn’t quite as impressed with the state of the goaltending prospects, though he does suggest Jacob Fowler’s rookie season in the NCAA was rather encouraging.

The depth of their prospect pool is the main factor anchoring the Canadiens in second place, the same rank as they were given last season. There is a clear lack of elite talent, particularly up front, but there are good options in every position This points to the logic of the Canadiens drafting a forward with their first-round pick this summer.

Unless they win the Draft Lottery, the odds of picking a game-changing talent such as Macklin Celebrini are rather low, but several interesting forwards should be available once the Habs take to the podium.

Another interesting aspect of the rankings is how the Habs are the only team in the Atlantic Division with a top-10-ranked prospect pool, lending credence to the idea that the team’s rebuild has come at an opportune time.

If you enjoy the rankings posted above, please consider supporting Hockey Prospecting.

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What we should do is now look at the teams that ranked the highest in forwards and start making deals with our strength on D for their strength at forward. 😁

Alex Barrette

In winnipeg, mcgoraty would be nice! They need defense.
These would be my targets for the summer,

Zegras,Kakko,Turcotte any other blue chip forwards between 19 and 23 years old actually.


I was sitting beside the section where Mcgriarty’s family was on day 1 of the draft. He brought like an entire section of people with him and they exploded when he got drafted. It was pretty great to see up close. Thankfully, on day 2 of the draft I was front row, right beside the stage, so I got to meet a bunch of players and tons of NHL execs. Now that was awesome. It would be kinda cool if Mcgriarty ended up a Hab since I was right there from the start of it all. Having said that, Conner Geekie was a guy I wanted us to grab that day, and he’s also a Jet…


Zegras is not a player I ever want to see wear a Canadiens sweater.


I guess having talented forwards isn’t part of the ranking process. After Beck and Roy, there’s nobody who looks at all like a potential star–almost all our top prospects are defencemen, which is stupid given there are 12 forward spots to 6 d.

Pierre B.

The methodology here gives value to all prospects with 10% star probability as well as the star probability of the top 5 prospects. This model doesn’t seem to give more weight to superstars over just normal stars; a prospect with a superstar ceiling but a 85% star probability is worth less than a prospect with just a normal star ceiling but a 90% star probability. Understanding what the author means by star and star probability requires a lot of reading about Win-above-replacement (WAR) models and the Pareto law applied to hockey (the roughly 20% who are responsible for 80% of the outcomes). I do not pretend to have fully figure it out yet, but certain choices by the author favor the Canadiens who don’t have prospect superstar, but do have several prospects with star potential (remember, only 10% probability is required to be counted). For Canadiens’ fan, it’s fun to read this analysis; however weighting based on the expected WAR and the confidence probabilty of achieved said WAR would likely paly against the Canadiens with regards to this metric.


Very well explained Pierre.


You’re statistically right but it is the same measurement for every franchise. I suspect that the more you refine the model, the greater the margin of error. Bader offers one of many models to assess, I don’t get too caught up in anyone assessment – well except mine lol! Similarly, prospect draft lists aren’t random, models are used to determine values for ranking but they all differ. The weight you give inputs determine the outputs.

So to your point, we don’t really see highly probable superstar prospects in our pipeline as Hutson and Reinbacher would have the highest ceilings but Reinbacher as a star in the mold of McDonough or Slavin or maybe a Macevoy or Heiskanen- all excellent players but not superstars.
Hutson could have the offensive upside of a top 5 NHL defenseman but it seems doubtful he masters the defensive side of the game leaving him as a star and not a superstar.

Another issue is the inclusion of Farrell and Barron. Mailloux has likely surpassed Barron as a prospect after 1 year of AHL hockey. Likewise , Owen Beck stands a better chance of rostering on the club than Sean based on the attributes they possess , in my opinion. The eye test is important, an anaylisis of many statistical based decisions prove they are fallible so balance is required. Time is the definitive judge, so we will see.

The other reality is you can’t have 12 stars in your forward group for example. The cap won’t bear it and there are competitive vulnerabilities such as small skilled teams struggle against large physical skilled teams. So determining organizational needs and comparing the pipeline against that is the best way to determine which team has the appropriate skill in the system and is best prepared to help the big club improve. We have too many D, it’s obvious to everyone. However we may only need several star forwards so if we had a deep 5 star forward prospect pool, it would not provide the upside the analysis would indicate if we only need 2.