Post-Draft Top-26 Habs’ Prospect List

By Bob Trask – In late June, I published a list ranking my top 20 Habs prospects with the caveat that the list would probably change dramatically following the entry draft. Only prospects born in the year 2000 or later were included and as a result names like Cayden Primeau and Jesse Ylönen do not appear. Neither does anyone who played significant time with the Canadiens, so Cole Caufield is not on the list either.

June 21st Rankings

  1. Kaiden Guhle
  2. First overall pick
  3. Justin Barron
  4. Jordan Harris
  5. Arber Xhekaj
  6. Cayden Primeau
  7. Joshua Roy
  8. Sean Farrell
  9. Riley Kidney
  10. Emil Heineman
  11. Jan Mysak
  12. Twenty-sixth overall pick
  13. Thirty-third overall pick
  14. Jayden Struble
  15. Mattias Norlinder
  16. Jakub Dobes
  17. Dmitri Kostenko
  18. Oliver Kapanen
  19. William Trudeau
  20. Blake Biondi

Updated Rankings

I expanded the list to 26 players because to the influx of talent after the draft. Kostenko was dropped down only because he currently plays in Russia and that picture seems unclear. Some newly drafted players could move up in the ranking but they will have to earn those higher rankings in the upcoming season.

With Logan Mailloux attending the development camp as a non-playing participant, I have included him in the updated rankings at #5.

  1. Juraj Slafkovsky
  2. Kaiden Guhle
  3. Justin Barron
  4. Jordan Harris
  5. Logan Mailloux
  6. Arber Xhekaj
  7. Joshua Roy
  8. Filip Mesar
  9. Sean Farrell
  10. Owen Beck
  11. Riley Kidney
  12. Emil Heineman
  13. Lane Hutson
  14. Jan Mysak
  15. Jayden Struble
  16. Mattias Norlinder
  17. Jakub Dobes
  18. Jared Davidson
  19. Oliver Kapanen
  20. William Trudeau
  21. Blake Biondi
  22. Adam Engstrom
  23. Frederik Dichow
  24. Cedrick Guindon
  25. Dmitri Kostenko
  26. Miguel Tourigny

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the rankings, it is clear that this is a deep prospect pool even without including Primeau, Ylonen, Leskinen, Harvey-Pinard and others.

The top six prospects are dominated by defenseman even with the arrival of Slafkovsky and Mesar. It makes it easier to see why Alex Romanov was made available in a trade to acquire Kirby Dach.

The depth chart could also change dramatically as a result of any trades between now an training camp.

More reading…

McKenzie Throws A Wrench In The Narrative

By JD Lagrange – They’re numerous. They’re loud. They are focussed on one thing and one thing only: being right. Or is it being Wright? They are the Shane Wright extremists. Let’s clarify something here… not everyone who wants the Montreal Canadiens to select Wright with the first overall pick fits that bill. But they are too many who do.

Long time guru Bob McKenzie, one of the most respected draft expert in the media, a guy who does the draft for both TSN and American networks, has thrown a monkey wrench in their gear. Up until now, those extremists, for whom there is no room for discussion, no grey area, who feel like their favourite is miles ahead of the competition, got their foundation shaken.

It happened when McKenzie published his final ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft, and guess who is NOT at the top anymore? That’s right, Shane Wright has been knocked of his throne for… Juraj Slavkovsky.

Not happy

Now those extremists are not happy. And I mean really not happy. Their recourse? Regurgitate the same narrative over and over again… but louder and more often, this time around. It’s like someone who believes that shouting will get the message through. I’ve got news for them: it doesn’t work that way.

Instead, now they’re finding ways to put down McKenzie. Have you ever wondered why they weren’t doing that when McKenzie had Wright going first in his previous rankings? Because it fit their beliefs, their narrative. Now that it doesn’t, he’s no good. Figure…

It’s sad, really sad. As the sensible thing to do would be to recognize that while they may not have changed their mind about whom the Canadiens should select first, at least they should recognize and acknowledge that Slafkovsky is also a very good pick. As mentioned earlier, many who want the Habs to pick Wright have been doing just that. And that’s respectable and commendable.

So why getting upset? You see, I’ve been wondering and curious about the prospect of Juraj Slafkovsky for a while now. Just recently, I even put him going number one in my own (unprofessional) ranking. I have been taking abuse on Twitter ever since. Weird behaviour if you ask me. One even accused me of being Grant McCagg’s (from burner account. No need to say, that clown was blocked immediately.

Others have been saying things like: “You will be disappointed when they pick Wright”, or “Your reasons to want Slafkovsky is only because of his size”. It all cases, it cannot be further from the truth. I have stated from day one that I will be thrilled no matter who the Canadiens pick as it should be a very good player. And I’ve explained that in addition to his size, Slafkovsky is a good skater who goes hard to the net, has natural scoring abilities, is very difficult to knock off the puck and one of his best attributes is puck possession.

Evidence building up

Just recently, a bunch of scouts mentioned that Slafkovsky could go number one. Alain Chainey, who spent more than 20 years as a scout and Director of Amateur Scouting for the Anaheim Ducks, said he would select Juraj Slafkovsky. We quoted three more NHL scouts, in an earlier article, who believe that the Canadiens could go with someone else than Wright. Well respected reporter Matthias Brunet has been quoting people for a while in favour of Slafkovsky.

This society is sick and social media makes it unbearable at times. The need to be right goes beyond the need for common sense. Every time I start feeling like this fan base is gaining momentum, a controversy is created and the true temperaments come out, fans show their true colours. We see the same about the bashing of Shea Weber and Carey Price, the two biggest world class and league-wide well respected athletes the Habs have had in years.

It just makes me want to say: Grow up already! Acting like this makes you look like spoiled brats whose parents said no to! You want your opinion to be respected? Respect the opinion of others. In spite of what you might believe, while it is YOUR truth, you do NOT hold the ultimate truth. An opinion is just that. And in this case, we won’t know who the better will be for at least 3-5 years, if we’re lucky.

More reading…