Youth Movement Well Underway

Like him or not, when Marc Bergevin committed to a Reset back in the summer of 2018, he knew that it couldn’t be done overnight. He and his right-hand man when it comes to the Draft, Trevor Timmins, focussed on stocking up on draft picks and developing those young men. If Timmins’ numbers don’t appease the crowds in Montreal, the theory of drafting more players should result into more chances of landing NHL caliber prospects. And we’re just starting to see the results of that strategy, although there’s much more to come.

Fans are disgruntled. Media members are feeding their anger by throwing oil on the fire any chance they get. Yet, if you sit and look through the smoke screen of this awful start of the season, you will notice something. You will see that Nick Suzuki is one of the Habs’ best players. If you look deeper, you will notice that Alexander Romanov continues to improve game in, game out. You will have noticed that Jake Evans is performing quite well. By paying attention, you will see that Ryan Poehling is starting to get his stride. Fans should have also noticed that while not quite ready, Cayden Primeau and Mattias Norlinder will be good players in this league.

And we’re not talking about Jesse Ylönen who is developing in Laval, or other young prospects in different leagues either.

The Canadiens also have 11 more picks for the upcoming Draft, which will be held in Montreal this year, adding even more possibilities of good prospects joining the organisation.

Bergevin’s future

What I find the most unfortunate is that it’s unlikely that Bergevin and Timmins will get to reap the fruit of their labour from that Reset. You see, what fans (and media) either don’t realize or don’t want to admit, is that developing players through the Draft takes time. Too often, fans ask who a prospect can be compared to, or they look at their production in junior hockey, and expect them to be dominant immediately. If they don’t live up to their unrealistic expectations, they’re a bust.

Further, we’ve been blaming the Canadiens for rushing young players to the NHL, accusing the team to “ruin their development”. You’ve heard that about Alex Galchenyuk and more recently, about Jesperi Kotkaniemi. A couple of weeks ago, the Habs sent Cole Caufield to Laval to work on some stuff and regain confidence. The same fans were outraged to see that happening. Yet, the team was doing exactly what they claimed they should have done with the other two! The definition of insanity, aside from being hypocrites and two-faced, is making the same mistake over and over again and expecting different results. The Canadiens are trying something different, by being patient and develop players in the AHL… finally!

With the dismal season they’re having and with Bergevin left as a lame duck by Geoff Molson and the organisation, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see the Canadiens’ GM back next season. He might not last the rest of this season even. Someone else will come in and if we’re lucky, will benefit from Bergevin and Timmins’ reset. Unless they feel pressured to prove that they’re good and trade those promising young prospects for immediate help, which would be disastrous. We as fans would have gone through those years of reset/rebuild for nothing.

More reading…

Canes In A Self-Inflicted World Of Trouble

Jeff Petry Situation: The Talent Didn’t Go Away

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mattias Norlinder

10 thoughts on “Youth Movement Well Underway

  1. I enjoyed reading your article. I think a lot of what you say is spot on. The only thing I will add is that with all of the young talent we have coming I don’t really see any true 1A marquee talent. There is no “franchise” player. Given where the team currently is at and given the makeup of the roster, and given what we have coming as you’ve noted, I think the most prudent thing to do and the quickest way to being a cup competitive team is to sell off the veterans now to ensure that we finish as low as possible this year and next. As rightly point out, development takes time and for anyone listed in your article to be up and with the team and fully producing- it’s going to be another 2-3 years, Suzuki and Evans aside. Our window doesn’t really begin for another three years with all of the prospects you listed still needing several years to develop to the point where they can even get in the lineup, let alone be producing NHL’ers- (and that’s IF they even make it) – that just takes time – but what we should do now given where we are at its to sell off and hopefully draft in the top five this year and next year, 2 great drafts- and get a marquee player or 2 to fuse to everything else we have coming. That’s the right thing for Berg to be doing right now. Selling off. And to that point – unless he figures out a way to move price we will never draft high because price is too good and will just keep us middling …so somehow some way he has to find a way to move price which will involve retaining salary – and while that may be a tough pill to swallow we can still manage the cap sensibly on the current young kids salaries and the coming ELC’s.

  2. Caufield, Poehling, Norlinder, Guhle, Farrell, Roy, Kidney, Kapanen, Simoneaux, Harris, Struble, Ylonen, Tuch, Mysak, Fairbrother, Mailloux, Primeau and maybe a few others- Obviously some will make it and some won’t, but for those who do make it – we’re looking at minimum 3 to 5 years before they are fully fully producing consistent NHL players. We have a real opportunity this year and next to finish bottom of the pack and draft top five in 2 very strong drafts, where we can hopefully pick up 1-2 marquee talents that will join the others listed above and have all be more or less ready at the same time. We have no marquee talent, coming, no franchise players coming so we would be really wise to do our best to try and get those guys at the next 2 drafts because we’re going to need more talent than what is listed above. Sell off now berg!

    1. Thank you for your comments Jon and I agree for the most part with what you’re saying. The key here is to remember that it takes time to develop young players and whether we call that a reset or a rebuild, it takes the same amount of time for young players to become impact players. Oh and don’t worry about typos. We’re all human. 🙂
      If you would like to write for us periodically, feel free to have a look at this:

      1. We definitely are of the same mind that young players take time to develop, which is precisely why I am saying that we should do a complete reset right now given that we are so close to the bottom already and given that we don’t have any franchise or marquee players among the players coming. I’m thinking a franchise or marquee player will have a shorter development time than say a 1B sort of player. So say for instance we were able to draft shane Wright. My guess is that he could make the team in 1-2 yrs time post draft and be joining say guys like Cole and Ylonen and peohling and Guhle and others, who are beginning to hit their stride.

  3. And not to be redundant but unless we trade price none of that will happen. The whole reason we do trade price is BECAUSE he still is good and still has value. If we keep him it will only insure that we keep middling, which is the last thing we need right now. We have to find a way to move his contract. We won’t win a cup with price and we won’t draft top five with price- so logically, there’s only one way forward. If Bergevin doesn’t understand this then he should not be the general manager.

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