Sean Farrell: A Man On a Mission

By JD Lagrange – As rookie camps and tournaments are fast approaching, prospects around the NHL are about to start trying to impress enough to get an invitation to teams’ main training camp. That’s a given for Sean Farrell, who finished the season in Montreal last year. And he has done what he was asked to do in order to impress the Habs’ brass when they hit the ice together.

In a recent interview with TVA Sports, Farrell opened up on a multitude of topics. And the maturity of this young man is what stood out in my mind.

So what was Sean Farrell’s summer like?

  • He completed his last University courses and officially graduated from Harvard, with a diploma in economics.
  • He added six pounds of muscle.
  • He made key components of his off-season training, listening to the team’s advices to improve his physical attributes.

“My summer routine is rather easy to sum up. I got up at 6:30 am, then I went to the gym”, said Farrell. “I worked out for a few hours, I skated a bit and I went home. Then, I had class at 3:00 pm. After that, I did homework as long as I could, then I went to bed… and started all over again the next day!”

The Canadiens’ fourth round pick in 2020 had 53 points (20 goals) in 34 games last season in the NCAA. At the end of the season, he signed a three-year Entry Level Contract (ELC) with the Habs, a deal worth $3.775 million. He finished the season in Montreal, playing six games in which he scored his first NHL goal.

“Things went quickly. I was playing in Harvard and the following week, I was playing my first game with the Canadiens. It’s crazy when you think of it”, he added.

Speaking of his adaptation coming to Montreal, Farrell was living in a hotel room close to the Bell Centre. But three guys on the team in particular made him feel welcome.

“Cole (Caufield), whom I knew already, was the first guy who contacted me”, explained Farrell. “Nick Suzuki and Chris Wideman were next. They took me everywhere in the City and made sure that I felt good. I’m very grateful to them. Everyone in the dressing room was fantastic.”

The young forward had good words for the staff as well.

“I also really appreciated the coaches’ approach”, said an appreciative Farrell. “Right off the bat, they told me to to be afraid of making mistakes and not to change my style of play. It’s true that young players will struggle to apply that advice to start with, but the fact of feeling the coaches were wanting me to feel comfortable helped me a lot.”

Asked specifically about Martin St-Louis, Farrell had this to say:

“I remember at a morning skate the day of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, in which I wasn’t playing. I was doing some extra time and Martin snuck up by me and tried to take the puck away from me. He then took a few drills with me, then we talked. It really helped me. He was one of my idols growing up and learning from him is extremely special.”

Team’s advice

After the season ended, the team had some suggestions for his off-season training and Farrell applied the advices he was given.

“They told me to add strength to fell better in puck battles”, he explained. “With more power, they told me that I would be better at puck protection and generating more in the offensive zone.”

A good student, Farrell only had one thing in mind: follow his employer’s advices. And the results, he says, are there.

“My training was dedicated to adding more muscular mass and developing my brute power. I also worked on my abdominals and my core. Finally, being more explosive on my skates and my cardio-vascular endurance were the focus of many training sessions. I have also integrated more proteins to my diet. That and the work I did in the gym allowed me to add six pounds of muscle. I’m now at 180 lbs”, proudly expressed the young man.


Farrell is a driven young man. The Milton, Massachusetts native will be turning 22 years old on November 2nd and he isn’t planning on staying in a hotel this season. In fact, he is fully planning on earning a spot in Montreal.

“I’ve live in the hotel. My objective is now to do well at camp to eventually get a spot at home, in Montreal, and stay. There will be many talented players who will battle for a spot and everyone has the same goal. But at the same time, it will be up to me to show that I’m capable of playing with these guys.”

And how exactly does he see his game at the NHL level?

“I’ve always been a play-maker who can generate offense. The NHL is the best league in the world, but I think that by continuing to develop my strength and speed, my instincts will allow me to contribute offensively with Montreal. I’m working on that. I also watch a lot of video. Ultimately, I wish to become a player that the team can count on in all circumstances.”

While many fans have already assigned Farrell to Laval, the young man has had a taste of the NHL and he has done his homework in the off-season… in more ways than one.

Talent is not enough. You need discipline. You need dedication. You need character. More men have failed, not for lack of talent but for lack of character. And Sean Farrell is certainly not lacking in character.

Justin Barron: The Forgotten One

By JD Lagrange – Justin Barron was disappointed when, after training camp last year, he was sent down to the Laval Rocket of the AHL, to work on a few aspects of his game. Acquired in the trade which saw Artturi Lehkonen packing for Colorado, the Avs’ first round pick (25th overall) in 2020 had shown some good things the previous season and he thought that he would be getting a better chance in Montreal than with a stacked Avalanche team.

Improved player

Since being called up on a heavily injury-riddled Canadiens’ team on time for the December 28th game in Tampa Bay, Barron has shown that his work down in Laval was starting to pay off at the NHL level. The 6-foot 2-inches, 201 lbs right-handed defenseman managed 15 points in the 39 games that he has played since being called up and only Mike Matheson had more points than the young defenseman from the blue line. Surprisingly enough, only three of those points were obtained on the power play, an area where Barron can certainly get better with age and experience.

He had improved on his positioning in his own zone, and was making better decisions with the puck as well. Only Matheson and Johnathan Kovacevic had a better plus-minus rating than Barron since his call-up.

Barron, who will turn 22 years of age in November – young for a defenseman – is often the ‘forgotten one’ when we see media members and bloggers on the web. Some even go as far as relegating him to Laval once again.


With Logan Mailloux turning pro this year, and with the Canadiens acquiring 24 year-old right-handed defenseman Gustav Lindström in the Jeff Petry trade from the Detroit Red Wings, the competition promisses to be fierce at camp for a spot on the Canadiens’ right side of the defense. In addition to Lindström and Mailloux, you also have to contend (and beat) the likes of David Savard, Johnathan Kovacevic and Chris Wideman.

And that’s not counting on a potential surprise, as the Canadiens’ fifth overall pick at this past NHL Draft, David Reinbacher, will also try to cause a surprise, taking part in his first NHL training camp.

Rest assured that Barron is a smart cookie and that he knows all of that. He will remember what happened at training camp a year ago and he will have put the efforts during his summer training to ensure that the same situation doesn’t happen again. Those pencilling Barron in as a starting in Laval in October might be surprised as I personally fully expect to see a more mature and improved young man, one who could even earn a spot on the Canadiens’ top-4 when the puck drops on this new season.