In The System – March 13, 2023

By JD Lagrange – In The System has become a very popular feature with our readers. This week, let’s see how the team’s top prospects are progressing. The far right column shows how the players are trending based on the previous week. Remember that this is in no way some expert dissection and in-depth analysis, but rather an overview at one point in time about how those young prospects are producing at their respective level.

Skaters

First, let’s have a look at the skaters before turning our attention to the goaltenders.

NAMETEAMLEAGUEGPGAPTSPTS/GPPIM+/-TREND
Riley Kidney (C)Gatineau OlympiquesQMJHL542673991.8340+28⬇️
Joshua Roy (W/C)Sherbrooke PhoenixQMJHL493844821.6714+57➡️
Sean Farrell (C/LW)Harvard Univ.NCAA312031511.6512+24⬆️
Jared Davidson (C)Seattle ThunderbirdsWHL553841791.4444+38⬆️
Lane Hutson (D)Boston Univ.NCAA341232441.2924+23⬇️
Owen Beck (C)Peterborough PetesOHL532137581.0931+8⬆️
Cedrick Guindon (LW/C)Owen Sound AttackOHL611944631.0314-1⬇️
Filip Mesar (RW/C)Kitchener RangersOHL471730471.008-12⬆️
Vinzenz Rohrer (C/RW)Ottawa 67'sOHL491828460.9416+18⬇️
Logan Mailloux (D)London KnightsOHL542325480.8973+14⬇️
Jesse Ylönen (RW)Laval RocketAHL36920290.8116-1➡️
Joël TeasdaleLaval RocketAHL452013330.7321-5⬆️
Rafaël Harvey-PinardLaval RocketAHL371510250.6820-2➡️
Justin Barron (D)Laval RocketAHL2579160.646-3➡️
Miguël Tourigny (D)HK Dukla TrencinSlovakia39519240.6237-4➡️
Xavier Simoneau (C)Laval RocketAHL48524290.6062-6⬇️
Rhett Pitlick (LW)Univ. of MinnesotaNCAA35912210.6016+14⬆️
Nicolas BeaudinLaval RocketAHL33216180.5537+8⬇️
Luke Tuch (LW)Boston Univ.NCAA3599180.5115+5⬇️
Oliver Kapanen (C)KalPaLiiga551215270.4928+6⬇️
William Trudeau (D)Laval RocketAHL46515200.4351+1⬇️
Emil HeinemanLeksands IFSHL3587150.4310-1⬆️
Jack Gorniak (LW/C)Univ. WisconsinNCAA3157120.3930-5➡️
Jayden Struble (D)Northeastern Univ.NCAA31111120.3956+8⬆️
Blake Biondi (C)Univ. Minnesota-DuluthNCAA173360.354-4➡️
Mattias Norlinder (D)Laval RocketAHL53213150.2820-9⬇️
Jan Mysak (C/LW)Laval RocketAHL312460.194-9⬇️

Joshua Roy, Sean Farrell and Jared Davidson stood out, each one having an excellent week, even based on their high standards.

I personally was expecting more from a few Habs’ prospects this season, particularly in the later stages as their development should have progressed:

  • Owen Beck
  • Filip Mesar
  • Vinzenz Rohrer
  • Luke Tuch
  • Jayden Struble
  • Mattias Norlinder
  • Jan Mysak

It seems like Jayden Struble’s season is over. Having played his final season in the NCAA, he can become a UFA by August. The Canadiens will have to make a decision with him soon.

Justin Barron (injured), Jesse Ylönen and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard are still with the Canadiens. All three are eligible to return to Laval to help the Rocket in their playoffs’ push.

Goaltenders

And now, to the organization’s goaltending prospects…

NAMETEAMLEAGUEGPGAASv%TREND
Jakub DobesOhio State Univ.NCAA382.33.918⬇️
Emmett CroteauWaterloo Black HawksUSHL192.64.907⬆️
Cayden PrimeauLaval RocketAHL293.28.902➡️
Frederik DichowFrölunda HCSHL162.76.899➡️
Joe VrbeticTrois-Rivières LionsECHL243.64.883⬆️
Laval RocketAHL44.05.871➡️

Emmett Croteau had a good week when it comes to the organization’s goaltenders.

More reading…

Heart to… Hart

By JD Lagrange – Carey Price’s health issues have left the Canadiens scrambling in net for years to come… and it doesn’t appear that there is a solution coming anytime soon. Jake Allen was brought in by Marc Bergevin to be Price’s back up goaltender. He’s now the starter. Samuel Montembeault was picked off waivers and is doing okay. But he’s unlikely to be the solution long term. Cayden Primeau is taking his sweet time to develop and other goaltenders in the organization haven’t even turned pro yet… at least not in North America.

The situation in net for the Canadiens is a position of weakness. This is why it is so important for Kent Hughes and the Canadiens to find a solution and find one quickly. As the team is showing great progress with the young players drafted and acquired via trades since the 2018 Reset, the team won’t be able to take the next step without a suitable keeper.

Changes in Philadelphia

As Daniel Briere has taken over as interim General Manager for the Philadelphia Flyers, changes are coming. They always are after a new GM takes over. Briere himself hinted that while there wouldn’t be a wholesale change over, some key changes will be happening in the off-season.

Jeff Marek addressed concerns about Carter Hart’s future with the Flyers, given the emergence of goaltender Samuel Ersson. If they’re going to go through a rebuild, Marek wondered what Hart could fetch on the trade market and if the 24-year-old netminder wants to spend the best seasons of his career with a rebuilding Flyers.

NHL Standard career statistics
Goalie Stats Scoring
Season Age Tm Lg GP GS W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA SO MIN QS QS% RBS GA%- GSAA adjGAA GPS G A PTS PIM Awards
2018-1920PHINHL31301613181976895.9172.830171714.4674927.03.016.20000Calder-9
2019-2021PHINHL4340241339511001005.9142.421235625.6259964.52.576.70000AS-9
2020-2122PHINHL2725911589721632.8773.67114569.3608134-22.64.041.80002
2021-2223PHINHL45441324713714411304.9053.161260321.4776102-3.03.257.70110
2022-2324PHINHL484717211013614511315.9062.961275421.4479991.53.018.30000
Career5 yrsNHL19418679822653856895151.9052.9741088690.48436103-14.33.1130.70112
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/12/2023.

Hart has one more year left to his contract, carrying a cap hit of $3.98 million. He then become a RFA with arbitration rights.

Why not the Habs?

The Flyers want to rebuild on the run and there are many reasons why the Canadiens would be a great trade partner with them.

  • The Habs’ cupboards are stacked with quality prospects, having drafted about 50 players since Marc Bergevin’s 2018 Reset, and 11 more in the upcoming NHL Draft. You can only sign so many…
  • Hart has an affordable cap hit for next season and has yet to have a great season to justify a huge pay raise
  • Standing at 6-foot 2-inches, he has good size
  • He’s only 24 years of age, so close to coming into his own
  • He grew up idolizing Carey Price, who is still under contract. Perhaps Price could help him out a bit?

My personal observation of Hart is that he is very mobile and athletic. He covers the bottom of the net very well. When he gets into trouble, it’s often because he tends to drop on his knees too quickly and doesn’t make himself big enough when in a butterfly position. A good goalie coach will get him to stand tall on his knees instead of crouching forward. Everything else, he has, including the talent to be a good franchise goalie.

Of all the names that have been thrown out there for potential young goaltenders for Canadiens’ trade targets, Carter Hart would be, by far, my favourite. My second favourite would be Flames’ prospect Dustin Wolf.