By Bob Trask – The Montreal Canadiens are deep at LD throughout the organization and, for the most part, it is a very young group from the Habs roster on down through Laval and the amateur levels. A quick look reveals that there may be more bodies than positions available and that points to some movement in personnel.
The oldest player on the list is 29 year old (soon to be 30) Joel Edmundson and from there it quickly becomes young and full of promise. Keeping in mind that four LD is probably the maximum that the team would like to carry, this list will likely be shortened before next season.
- Joel Edmundson
- Mike Matheson
- Kaiden Guhle
- Arber Xhekaj
- Jordan Harris
One of these players could possibly play RD but that seems less likely with the development of Barron, the steady play of Kovacevic and the veteran presence of David Savard.
Top trade candidate: Joel Edmundson
The recent signing of Jayden Struble adds to the depth charts on LD in Laval. While Otto Leskinen and Corey Schueneman are unlikely to return and Nicolas Beaudin is an RFA that is expected to return and there are still a lot of defensemen in the fold.
- Nicolas Beaudin
- Mattias Norlinder
- Gianni Fairbrother
- William Trudeau
- Jayden Struble
Top trade candidates: Mattias Norlinder, Gianni Fairbrother
The prospect list is no less crowded than the situation at the pro level and it is an excellent problem to have, especially when you consider the quality of the prospects. The two players on this list have had exceptional seasons.
- Lane Hutson
- Adam Engstrom
Petteri Nurmi is also a prospect and played in Finland’s top league (Liiga) as a 21 year old this season. Nurmi played for his home country in the World Junior Championships, but he ranks below both Hutson and Engstrom and seems like a long shot to ever play in North America.
Top trade candidates: none
Paring Down the List
It is not hard to envision the Canadiens moving on from at least one player currently on the Canadiens’ list and at least one from the Rocket’s list while adding another at the draft. There is only so much ice to go around at each position and when there is a glut on one position and a shortage at another, you have to think that Kent Hughes is eyeing this situation closely. Don’t be surprised if a left defenseman (or two, or three) is traded at the draft table or over the summer.