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Montreal Canadiens 2024 Prospect Tiers – NHL Potential

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Montreal Canadiens prospects generic

Now that the Montreal Canadiens have added some elite talent to the mix, it’s time to take a look at how their numerous prospects rank in terms of their NHL potential.

As we all know, very few prospects will eventually make the NHL, and even fewer will make an impact. With that in mind, there’s certainly some space for a healthy discussion regarding certain players, but we must be careful when it comes to overrating prospects in the Canadiens system. It should also be noted this experiment is based on projections and opinions, which means there’s a decent chance some prospects mentioned will surpass expectations and make me look (more) foolish.

Forward prospects who are 22-years-old or younger with fewer than 50 games of NHL experience will be considered. Goaltender prospects who are 23-years-old or younger with fewer than 25 games will be considered.

A stick tap goes out to Steve Dangle, as he has been producing the Toronto Maple Leafs ‘Prospect Pyramid‘ for nearly a decade.


The Montreal Canadiens prospect tiers are as follows:

Tier 1 includes players who possess elite talent. They are potential game changers in the NHL.

Tier 2 includes players who have high-end talent or a high likelihood of eventually making the NHL.

Tier 3 includes players who possess above-average skills. They will have a decent opportunity to make the NHL.

Tier 4 includes players who will need to work hard to make the NHL.

Tier 5 includes all the remaining prospects in the system.

 

Tier 1 – Players With Elite Talent, Potential Game Changers

There are only two players who fit into this category however, it’s rather rare to have more than one elite prospect in the mix, which means Canadiens fans can sleep soundly knowing their favourite team finally has an above average quantity of potential game changers. More importantly, drafting Demidov led to the prospect pool being described as ‘nearly perfect‘.

Tier 1 Prospects: Lane Hutson, Ivan Demidov.


Tier 2 – High-End Talent, Likely To Make NHL

Five prospects fit the bill in this tier, as they all project as players who aren’t guaranteed to make the NHL, however, it will take an unfortunate series of events to keep them out. They’re not necessarily among the elite prospects in the NHL, but they aren’t far off. Joshua Roy could already be considered an NHL player, though given the parameters, he qualifies as a prospect in our ranking.

Tier 2 Prospects: Joshua Roy, David Reinbacher, Michael Hage, Jacob Fowler, and Owen Beck.


Tier 3 – Above Average Talent, Can Make NHL If They Reach Their Maximum Potential

This tier is a mix of players developing overseas, as well as a few prospects who are expected to play for the Laval Rocket next season. Some may suggest that both Logan Mailloux and Adam Engstrom should be in tier 2, but I’d argue their defensive game still requires a lot of work before they’re NHL ready. Both Filip Mesar and Oliver Kapanen are listed in this tier, though they’re working with a very different skill set. Mesar needs to improve his defensive acumen, while Kapanen needs to prove he can maintain a solid production rate for an entire season before we can reconsider his ranking.

Tier 3 Prospects: Logan Mailloux, Adam Engstrom, Filip Mesar, Oliver Kapanen, Vinzenz Rohrer, and Bogdan Konyushkov.


Tier 4 – Some NHL Potential

This tier is reserved for players who may one day have a chance to make the NHL, but they will have to work quite hard to achieve their dream. There will be mistakes in this Canadiens prospect tier ranking, and if I had to guess, I’d suggest this is the tier that will produce the most surprises. That being said, there’s a finite number of opportunities available in the NHL. We have to be realistic when it comes to the list of prospects. If any of the prospects mentioned below do make the NHL it should be considered a bonus, as the odds of making the NHL for players drafted outside the first round are quite low. You could also argue a player like Florian Xhekaj has above average odds of making the NHL since he’s projected to play on the third or fourth line. Personally, I believe he needs to provide a healthy amount of offence for one more year before I’d propose he’s in Tier 3.

Tier 4 Prospects: Sean Farrell, Emil Heineman, Luke Tuch, Florian Xhekaj, Jakub Dobes, Aatos Koivu, Tyler Thorpe, Owen Protz, and Yevgeni Volokhin.


All the remaining prospects are considered to be in Tier 5. Do you agree or disagree with our Montreal Canadiens prospect tiers? Let us know in the comments below!

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mikeysl

hmmm this is my brother Florian and my other brother Florian?

peter

I would rate Mailloux higher. You think Hutson will be better defensively?

Dana

You nailed the differentiation. Lots of comparables for Logan, but i have never seen Lane’s game before.

mikeysl

Sooo… this seems a little superficial… but probably more accurate than I could do.
I question how you rank Mesar and Roher ahead of say… Kidney when neither has produced at the same rate in their CHL time.

Im probably wrong but I wouldnt rule out Jared davidson. He seems to have overcome a lot of doubters so far…

Did you leave Struble out because you dont think he ever plays another game at the NHL level?

Mike P

Agree with you on Davidson. I think the kid is under rated. He definitely has the character of someone you can’t count out. He started to gain Houle’s confidence before his finak injury last year. Kidney is a touhg one, I followed him in junior, he seemed to get his game together in his final year. However he didn’t look great in Laval last year, granted most of the rookies didn’t look great. However I agree with your comment about Mesar and Rohrer. Especially Mesar, he really seems to have stalled in the OHL.

Db4

Struble is not listed because he played 56.games..Mark cut it off at 50 games or fewer played.

Jeffery

VOLOKHIN IS TOP TIER. ARE YOU KIDDING?

Mike P

Having seen FLorian in play in Laval and at the scrimmage last week. He definitely appears to have decent skills and is not afraid to go to the dirty areas. With his size and physicality, and since Brobov considers him unicorn he should be in Tier 3. Don’t underestimate a Xhekaj again ;o)

Dana

He’s destined for a role in the bottom 6, likely fourth line so he wouldn’t be a star no matter how good he plays in 12 minutes a night, which restricts his tier level, but he’s a good prospect nonetheless.

Often times, fourth liners are there by default not by design.Kids don’t dream of playing fourth line when they grow up, but someone plays there. I think the Islanders fourth line strategy has been the benchmark and Florian’s skill set is a great fit if Marty tries to build a big fast grinding fourth line that contributes more offence than the opposition. He needs a quicker first step and to adjust to bigger faster competitors, but his game is a pros game, once seasoned.

I think he’s a better prospect than McCarron was and we drsfted him in round one.

Alibaba

Fowler is underrated in your rankings.
I’m also not a believer that Hutson is a sure thing. Like it or not his size is a problem for a dman.
I also think that Rohrer & Mesar are too highly rated. I would also put Kidney ahead of both of them.

morrisk

Fowler is rated where he should be. He’s not elite yet. Maybe if he has another amazing season, by next year things will be different. Like Hudson…was tier 3-4 when he was drafted, but by the time he was ready to play, he was tier 5. Only time will tell.

Speaking of Hudson, go look up his “size” compared to Quinn Hughes and get back to me on the size being a problem for a Dman…

Steph6691

I don’t really know enough about the Tier 3 and down guys to really make solid arguments against, so’ i’ll focus on Tiers 1 and 2.

I love that Joshua is in Tier 2 according to your assessment. In the search for a top 6 forward via Free Agency (not so much anymore) and trades, I believe our solution could be JR. It might be a little presumptuous on my part but there’s just something about his game (many things actually) that says Top 6

The way he almost seamlessly adapted from Junior Hockey to the AHL, and then took about 2-3 games to get comfortable in the NHL. He’s got such a knack for creating plays offensively, great hockey IQ and is great at stealing the puck for opposing players.

As for the other players in Tier 1 and 2 I agree. My only concern is that once we do get in the playoffs, how much of an impact will our smaller elite players still have? Time will tell and I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Florida, Las Vegas, Edmonton and even Dallas all have big and heavy teams, with talent of course. Is this something we can overcome?

Mikeysl

Roy was always talented. It was his work ethic and skating. He has improvec one. I like and hope he becomes legit top 6…but lets not over-hype like RHP and his bloated sh%.

Steph6691

Yes but although I really like RHP’s game, him and Roy are two different players and Roy has way more offensive upsides. Best case scenario there’s a surprise turn of events and Demidov starts the season with the Habs some how 🙂

mikeysl

I was alluding to the “hyperbole” around RHP after he scored 14 goals playing with Zuke/Goal. He might never score 14 goals in the rest of his NHL career…Ridiculous Sh%. But he is a good story- I love the Lavalagher moniker

Geoff Read

Farrell seems one tier too low to me but I might be wrong.

Justin

I agree with most of the ranking. Although, I would put Hudson in Tier 2 and Beck in Tier 3. Owen Beck and Logan Mailloux should be in the same tier in my opinion.

Staylo58

I think you are missing Riley Kidney (to young to exclude) and William Trudeau had the ability to play on a 3rd pair in the NHL (though not likely with Montreal).

I think Kidney has as good a chance a Mesar or Tuch for that matter.

Eric Sarkissian

In my opinion, Logan Mailloux is absolutely a tier 2 player. Otherwise, I agree with your rankings.

Albert

Logan Sawyer? Quentin Miller? Jared Davidson? I think all of these guys have an outside shot at making it

Ron Barry

As it relates to the NHL, you defensive assumptions re: Hutson are a stretch. Mtl’s website lists him at 5’9″, 158 lbs. Is he the lightest NHL player? The lightest NHL D-man? If we’re being pragmatic, expect ‘long nights’ in the D-zone – on the wall, in front of the net… you name it. NCAA hockey is not the NHL – Hutson will be exposed. I see a possible way to utilize his talents and it’s not new: dress 7 D-men. Allow Hutson PP and O-zone faceoff time. Mtl routinely does this for the Cole-Nick-Slaf line. If we’re 50/50 in the faceoff circle, it’s worth the risk. For my money, Hutson in a 7 D-men rotation is far better than ANY scenario where a 4th liner gets 7 or 8 minutes per game, max, and often times never touches the ice in the third period.