Post-Draft Habs’ Top Prospects By Position

By JD Lagrange – Since Marc Bergevin hit the reset button in the summer of 2018 and start accumulating draft picks, the Canadiens have done a good job at replenishing the once empty cupboards of prospects. Although twice, the team has selected third overall, both picks have not panned out for Montreal.

Alex Galchenuyk, in spite of a 30-goals season, decided to listen to his father more than the Habs’ coaching staff and has since been bouncing around the NHL. Jesperi Kotkaniemi left by signing an offer-sheet with Carolina and up until now, he has not had any success either. To be fair, at least, Bergevin turned Galchenyuk into Max Domi, who then became Josh Anderson, a huge improvement.

Juraj Slafkovksy

Since then, the duo of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes have continued along the lines of what their predecessor had started. They traded valuable veterans into young players, prospects and picks and with the team ending the season dead last and a little bit of lottery luck, they got to select first overall at the last NHL Draft.

In came Juraj Slafkovsky and, before him, Emil Heineman and Justin Barron as well as a couple of first round picks. In two consecutive transactions at the Draft, Hughes also traded 22 year-old Alexander Romanov and acquired 21 year-old Kirby Dach. Because of the work of both management groups, the Canadiens’ depth chart is in better shape than it’s been for decades.

So here are the top prospects as it stands today. As it is difficult to sort them in order, I have placed them by position. I have included the points per game column as a reference, but Canadiens’ fans are knowledgeable enough to understand that many factors, such as the league they play in, their age, and the team they play on will all be affecting that ratio. So it’s not the ultimate factor in determining the quality of a prospect.

Forwards

NAMEAGELEAGUEGPGAPTSPTS/GP
Juraj Slafkovsky18U20 SM-sarja11612181.64
Liiga3155100.32
Filip Mesar18Slovakia3788160.43
Sean Farrell20NCAA241018281.17
Joshua Roy19QMJHL6651681191.80
Jesse Ylönen22AHL521422360.69
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard23AHL692135560.81
Owen Beck18OHL682130510.75
Jan Mysak20OHL613430641.05
Riley Kidney19QMJHL6630701001.52
Oliver Kapanen19Kalpa U201178151.36
Emil Heineman20SHL38115160.42
Vinzenz Rohrer17OHL642523480.75
Joël Teasdale23AHL441513280.64
Luke Tuch20NCAA2664100.39

Defensemen

NAMEAGELEAGUEGPGAPTSPTS/GP
Kaiden Guhle20WHL42733400.95
Logan Mailloux19OHL123690.75
Justin Barron20AHL43515200.47
Jayden Struble20NCAA34311140.41
Jordan Harris22NCAA39515200.51
Mattias Norlinder22SHL210220.10
Arber Xhekaj21OHL511222340.67
Lane Hudson18USHL27626321.19
USDP601053631.05
William Trudeau19QMJHL68836440.65

Goaltenders

NAMEAGELEAGUEGPGAASv%
Cayden Primeau22AHL332.94.909
Jakub Dobes21NCAA352.26.934
Frederik Dichow21HockeyAllsvenskan282.27.930
Joe Vrbetic19OHL452.87.906

As you can see, the sheer number of quality prospects is there. Some will argue that there is a lack of top-end prospects who can be dominant players in the NHL. To those I will reply that Martin St-Louis was never drafted. Alex Burrows spent time in the ECHL. Alexandre Daigle and Nail Yakupov were selected first overall. Fact is that you never know what a young player’s development will be like. What we know is that the Canadiens are now putting an emphasis on developing young players and only time will tell how far these young men will go.

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5 thoughts on “Post-Draft Habs’ Top Prospects By Position

  1. I really like the idea of listing, not ranking, prospects. It’s great to have the number and quality of prospects in Montréal. Coaching, development and maturation have to do their collective jobs to get the best out of as many as possible.

    1. Yes and often, when judging the success (or lack of thereof) of a Draft and/or development, we put the entire blame on scouting or teams. Often, injuries and a player’s willingness and ability to learn,the effort to put in the necessary time, and other factors outside an organization are just as much to blame.

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