There was a time when the succession of the Canadian was not glorious. There have been big black holes with Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, Jacob De La Rose, Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, Brett Lernout and Noah Juulsen as the main faces in the prospects.
But even before the changing of the guard among the leading heads, the CH had rebuilt its bank of hopes with several good choices. The era is no longer one of despair, but of hope.
Cole Caufield, Juraj Slafkovsky, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj and Jordan Harris already have both skates in Montreal, but they will also be followed by other talented youngsters. We present to you eleven.
hard to predict
For this 2022-2023 season, we were still predicting a catastrophic performance for the Habs. After securing the top pick in the 2022 draft with Slafkovsky, Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes were placing their tickets for another top pick in 2023.
Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, two guns in this repechage that is described as very rich, were already making fans dream.
However, the CH seemed to want to thwart the forecasts at the start of the season. However, by winning only one of his last eight games, he is heading, as agreed, in a fight for a place of choice in the abacus.
Gorton and Hughes have already said they will not deviate from their plan. They won't trade big picks or prospects for short-term reinforcements. The team's performance over the past few weeks will certainly confirm their desire to maintain a long-term vision. And when we think about the future, there is another important card up the team's sleeve.
The famous choice of the Panthers
The CH does not just have its first round choice in 2023, but also that of the Florida Panthers.
Panthers GM Bill Zito traded his 2023 first-round pick for defenseman Ben Chiarot. And the Panthers didn't protect that pick.
In the event that the Florida team misses its qualification for the playoffs, a real possibility, the Habs would find themselves with another choice in the top 16.
Beck was the revelation of the last Canadian rookie camp. So much that Kent Hughes signed him to a three-year contract. He hasn't stopped since joining the Mississauga Steelheads, with 39 points in 27 games, including 16 goals. His flamboyant first half of the season earned him an invitation to the Junior Team Canada camp. However, he was removed.
The Slovak made the heartbreaking choice to continue his apprenticeship in the Ontario Junior League. In just 17 games with the Kitchener Rangers, he had 22 points. We can expect to see him play next season with the Laval Rocket.
Due to an injury suffered in April, Mailloux was able to remain in the Canadiens' entourage for a few more weeks. A blessing in disguise if you consider that the London Knights defender, with this wealth of experience, is having quite the season. His youthful mistakes most likely deprived him of a position with Junior Team Canada.
In his second season at Harvard University, Farrell is an all-around player. With the Crimson, he evolves as much in numerical disadvantage as on the massive attack. He already has experience playing against men having defended the colors of the United States at the last Olympic Games and the Senior World Championship.
We expected him to start the season in Montreal, he went to Laval instead. With the Rocket, he offers an interesting offensive performance. However, like the team, he struggles defensively. Due to the many injuries that CH has on the blue line, he has been recalled for the three-game trip which ends today.
With his linemate Justin Gill, he makes the weather rain or shine at the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He has an impressive sense of the game. However, we should not expect to see him skip steps. His skating is not quite on point.
NCAA hockey hardly impresses him. The Boston College rookie defenseman leads the game and is accumulating points at a rate of more than one point per game. He was voted Most Outstanding Defenseman of the Month for November in the NCAA's Hockey East.
The goalkeeper of the future of the Canadian, it may be him. In his second season at Ohio State, the Czech played in all of his team's games. The 6-foot-4 stalwart could make the leap to pro before his NCAA internship is complete.
He is one of the prospects who are going a little more under the radar. However, at 19, he is doing well with the men of the Finnish Elite League. He is said to be calm while being intense and surly.
Kidney is on the same train as the one that allowed him to collect 100 points last year, in his third season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He has excellent vision, which serves him well in his skills as a playmaker.
The Canadiens' fourth-round pick in 2022, he's had a great time in his second season with the Owen Sound Attack. He is one of the attacking engines of his team along with his linemates, Colby Barlow and Deni Goure.