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Thread: Montreal Canadiens Prospects

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    Montreal Canadiens Prospects

    Montreal Canadiens prospects run deep at defense

    Written By Pat Paeplow ,March 9th, 2015

    The Montreal Canadiens prospect pool continues to grow more experienced every season. Because General Manager Marc Bergevin is intent on bringing his youngsters along slowly, the Canadiens have promoted just a single prospect into their roster. Several players among the Top 20 would be regulars in other organizations.


    Nathan Beaulieu is Montreal’s lone graduate. Many felt he was capable of regular NHL minutes in 2013-14, but he spent most of that season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs. This season, he earned a spot on the NHL roster and was soon promoted to the second pairing with Sergei Gonchar.

    When Gonchar went down with an injury in February, he blossomed even further, displaying more assertiveness with the puck. Surely, Beaulieu’s development is the template for all prospects in Montreal’s pipeline.

    Aside from Beaulieu, Patrick Holland and Jiri Sekac have departed the Canadiens prospect pool. Both were dealt away in separate transactions.

    1. (2) Jarred Tinordi, D, 7.5 C
    Drafted 1st Round, 22nd Overall, 2010

    Tinordi was recently recalled due to injuries on Montreal’s blue line. It remains to be seen what role he will play down the stretch but he should be able to crack the Canadiens lineup once and for all next season.

    Tinordi is an imposing physical presence but he is also an excellent skater for his size. He has shown he can be a proficient puck mover at lower levels, but needs to be more confident in his offensive abilities at the NHL level. If he does this, he could elevate from a bottom-pairing defender to a top-pairing stud.

    2. (3) Nikita Scherbak, RW, 7.5 C
    Drafted 1st Round, 26th Overall, 2014

    By most accounts, Scherbak was far more talented than his draft position. He impressed in his first professional camp. Playing for the Everett Silvertips in the WHL, he has recorded 23 goals and 45 assists for the Everett Silvertips this season.

    Sherbak’s playing style is eerily similar to Alexander Galchenyuk’s, although he is more inclined to shoot and exhibits top-end speed. Along with outstanding puck skills, he is very willing to physically engage opponents. However, like most young prospects, he must mature physically in order for these elements to translate successfully to professional hockey.

    3. (6) Charles Hudon, LW, 7.5 C
    Drafted 5th Round, 122nd Overall, 2012

    Hudon’s stock has risen this season. In junior, he was widely regarded as an excellent two-way forward. He displayed terrific hands and offensive instincts, yet maintained his intensity throughout all 200 feet of the rink—making him a reliable option in every situation. Despite this, expectations were always tempered because of his lack of size and obvious physical strength.

    In his rookie AHL season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Hudon has dispelled most of those concerns. He has scored 13 goals and 37 assists in 60 games. He looks confident in space as well as traffic. Despite his success, he should continue to increase his physical strength.

    4. (8) Mike McCarron, RW, 7.5 C
    Drafted 1st Round, 25th Overall, 2013

    McCarron thrived this year. After struggling during his rookie OHL season last year, in 2014-15 he scored close to a goal per game for the London Knights. When he was traded to Oshawa, his scoring production tapered, but he has continued to dominate physically. He could get another opportunity to compete for the Memorial Cup with the Generals.

    At 6’6 and 229 lbs, McCarron is a beast who has shown a tendency to play with a mean streak. He has good hands down low and protects the puck well. He also has good speed for his size, but he needs to improve his balance and agility.

    5. (4) Sven Andrighetto, RW, 7.5 C
    3rd Round, 86th Overall, 2013

    Andrighetto has improved his production in his second AHL season. In 2013-14, he scored 17 goals in 64 games. This season, he has 13 in 44 games. His development has been rewarded with a taste of NHL action. He has appeared in 12 NHL games, registering 2 goals and an assist. Andrighetto’s explosive skating should fit Montreal’s organizational make-up well when he gets a serious NHL opportunity.

    6. (9) Jacob de la Rose, C, 7.0 C
    Drafted 2nd Round, 34th Overall, 2013

    De la Rose came of age unexpectedly this season. Although he wasn’t turning many heads in the AHL, he was recalled to Montreal in February for an audition. He is tremendously responsible in his own end and relentless in his checking assignments, always moving his feet. He has the instincts to create scoring opportunities but has not flashed much finishing ability yet. De la Rose’s effectiveness should improve exponentially as he continues to mature physically.

    7. (5) Zachary Fucale, G, 7.0 C
    Drafted 2nd Round, 36th Overall, 2013

    Fucale’s numbers have bloated mightily this season in the QMJHL. He dropped to 7th spot on Montreal’s depth chart and would have slipped further if not for the Jiri Sekac trade and Nathan Beaulieu’s graduation. Like most goalies, Fucale is a long-term project. It’s an extremely cerebral position which lends itself to streakiness, especially in young prospects who are still striving for mental consistency.

    8. (NR) Martin Reway, LW, 7.0 C
    Drafted 4th Round, 116th Overall, 2013

    Reway continues to be a flashy prospect. After graduating from the QMJHL, he is producing at a point-per-game pace playing professional hockey in the Czech league. At some point, he will have to prove that he can survive the grind of the AHL. Further, he must improve his defensive game and play away from the puck. He will not be able to make a career solely out of being dynamic with the puck on his stick.

    9. (11) Tim Bozon, LW, 7.0 C
    Drafted 3rd Round, 64th Overall, 2012

    Bozon is still a viable prospect despite losing a year of development to his battle with meningitis. Like most young prospects, the need to gain mass and build strength is a key variable in his career arc. Being bedridden for a prolonged period sabotaged this process. Skating for the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL, he has managed to score 31 goals in 51 games this season, roughly equal to his pace in 2013-14—which is encouraging.

    10. (12) Darren Dietz, D, 7.0 C
    Drafted 5th Round, 138th Overall, 2011

    In his second season of AHL hockey, Dietz has 4 goals and 12 assists in 55 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs. After a strong training camp, he seems to have grown in virtually all phases of the game. He is a well-rounded defenseman, proficient at contributing on the rush as well as mixing it up in the dirty areas. Dietz seems primed for an NHL audition soon. His contract expires at the end of the season.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Continued...

    11. (NR) Christian Thomas, RW, 7.0 C
    Acquired via trade with New York Rangers, 2013

    Thomas’ skillset seemed redundant in a Canadiens prospect pool loaded with small, speedy wingers. It was hard to visualize him developing into a bona fide NHL player in such an environment. However, he’s gained quite a bit of traction with the Habs this season. Though he has only scored one goal, he’s flashed good speed in transition and drives to the net with strength and determination. The taste of NHL hockey seems to have accentuated his feistiness.

    12. (13) Greg Pateryn, D, 6.0 B
    Acquired via trade with Toronto Maple Leafs, 2008

    Pateryn’s game had appeared to hit a wall this season in the AHL, but after a February injury bug in Montreal, he was recalled to the Canadiens—where he has played solid hockey. Pateryn is a classic stay-at-home defender, and he has shown that he can hold his own physically in the NHL. His zone exits have also been decent in a small sample size. His contract converts to a one-way deal in 2015-16.

    13. (14) Magnus Nygren, D, 6.0 B
    Drafted 4th Round, 113th Overall, 2011

    Nygren began the season with Hamilton but an injury ended his campaign, sending him back to Sweden for rehabilitation. This is troubling after 2013-14, when he left the Bulldogs because of difficulties transitioning to the North American lifestyle. Still, Nygren’s offensive instincts and devastating shot from the point may be too valuable to give up on.

    14. (10) Artturri Lehkonen, RW, 7.5 D
    Drafted 2nd Round, 55th Overall, 2013

    Lehkonen continues to struggle playing against men in European professional hockey. This season he attempted to make the leap to the SHL from Finland’s Liiga. He has scored just 8 goals and 8 assists in 47 games, often with limited playing time. Lehkonen has amazing one-on-one skills and great speed but he needs to show he can utilize these tools in a tight-checking environment.

    15. (17) Jeremy Gregoire, C, 6.5 C
    Drafted 6th Round, 176th Overall, 2013

    As captain of the Bai-Comeau Drakkar, Gregoire has posted 16 goals and 20 assists in 28 games. He missed the first 34 games of the season rehabilitating from a wrist injury. He is a hard-nosed two-way center who plays with tons of energy. Despite his production in the QMJHL, he seems destined to top out as a fourth-liner in the NHL.

    16. (18) Brett Lernout, D, 7.0 D
    Drafted 3rd Round, 73rd Overall, 2014

    The 6’4 right-hander is a physical presence with a definite nasty side, but going into the season there were questions about whether his puck skills and skating were NHL caliber. He seems to have improved in these areas With Swift Current in the WHL, where he has logged top-pairing minutes while being utilized on both special teams groups. His big shot has become a key component of the Swift Current power play.

    17. (NR) Daniel Audette, C, 7.0 D
    Drafted 5th Round, 147th Overall, 2014

    The undersized Audette has continued to score at a torrid pace in the QMJHL. Following a 76 point campaign in 2013-14, he has 65 points in 56 games this season for the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He is an explosive and agile skater who combines deft puckhandling with superb ice vision, giving him excellent playmaking ability. He will need to dispel concerns about his size going forward.

    18. (19) Connor Crisp, LW, 7.0 D
    Drafted 3rd Round, 71st Overall, 2013

    Crisp has had a trying season battling injuries. The bruising forward has managed to appear in just 25 games. If he can stay healthy, he is more than just a crash and bang forward. Crisp has good hands and decent hockey sense. Provided his skating continues to improve, he could blossom into a versatile winger.

    19. (15) Dalton Thrower, D, 7.0 D
    Drafted 2nd Round, 51st Overall, 2012

    Thrower is a defenseman with plenty of high-end skill but he also plays with an edge. Entering this season coming off ankle surgery, he was loaned to the Brampton Beast of the ECHL for conditioning where he has played in 12 games. Next season should offer a more revealing look.

    20. (17) Morgan Ellis, D, 7.0 D
    Drafted 4th Round, 117th Overall, 2010

    Ellis has struggled to stand out amongst Montreal’s stable of talented defensive prospects on the right side, and spent most of the season with Montreal’s ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers. Recently recalled to Hamilton, Ellis plays a defense-first game which is often difficult to project. Depending on roster moves, he should get a full season of work in the AHL in 2015-16. It will be a crucial season for him.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Top prospects for Montreal Canadiens

    Forwards Michael McCarron, Daniel Carr on track to see more time in NHL this season

    by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

    August 9th, 2016

    NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Montreal Canadiens.

    The Montreal Canadiens tested their organizational depth to its limits during an injury-plagued 2015-16 season. As a result, two of Montreal's top prospects, forwards Michael McCarron and Daniel Carr, each made his NHL debut and gained valuable experience. The Canadiens also obtained an outstanding prospect at the 2016 NHL Draft when they selected defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.

    Canadiens 30 in 30: Season outlook | Burning questions, reasons for optimism | Fantasy outlook

    Each of Montreal's first-round picks since Alex Galchenyuk was taken No. 3 in the 2012 draft is making consistent progress toward playing in the League, albeit on different timelines.

    The Canadiens have a few prospects on the verge of making the leap to the NHL, and the opportunities are there for the taking. There is even the potential of a surprise or two.

    Here are the Canadiens' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

    1. Mikhail Sergachev, D

    How acquired: Selected with No. 9 pick of 2016 NHL Draft

    Last season: Windsor (OHL): 67 GP, 17-40-57

    A top-10 pick in the 2016 draft offered the Canadiens a ray of hope at the end of their dismal season. Sergachev, who turned 18 the day after he was drafted, arrived in North America for the 2015-16 season with a burning desire to reach the NHL as quickly as possible.

    If Sergachev is as determined to reach that ambitious goal as he was to quickly learn English, it would be wise not to bet against the 6-foot-2, 208-pound native of Nizhnekamsk, Russia, achieving it sooner rather than later.

    Sergachev was named the Ontario Hockey League's top defenseman in his rookie season. Windsor, which is hosting the 2017 Memorial Cup, would love to have him back to spearhead its championship bid. That's the most likely scenario for Sergachev, the second defenseman taken in the draft (Olli Juolevi, No. 5, Vancouver Canucks), but expect him to make that decision a difficult one for Montreal in training camp.

    Projected NHL arrival: Next season

    Canadiens draft D Sergachev No. 9


    2. Nikita Scherbak, RW

    How acquired: Selected with No. 26 pick of 2014 NHL Draft

    Last season: St. John's (AHL): 48 GP, 7-16-23

    Scherbak was 19 years old when he made his professional debut for St. John's of the American Hockey League last fall after two productive major junior seasons in the Western Hockey League with Saskatoon and Everett.

    "He's a late birth year (Dec. 30, 1995) and after he gets drafted, he plays one more year and turns pro; that's a big adjustment," director of player development Martin Lapointe said at the end of Montreal's development camp in July. "Nikita took last year to develop, to know the AHL. You know the AHL is not easy, and he's got some things that he needs to work on, but we all can see his talent. His skills are NHL skills."

    An ankle injury limited the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Russian to 48 games in his first AHL season.

    "It's a good league," Scherbak said during development camp. "It's pro, it's older guys, it's more physical, faster, and it's hard to play there."

    Projected NHL arrival: Next season

    3. Michael McCarron, C

    How acquired: Selected with No. 25 pick of 2013 NHL Draft

    Last season: Montreal: 20 GP, 1-1-2; St. John's (AHL): 58 GP, 17-21-38

    Though McCarron made a big impression at 6-foot-6, 231 pounds, he took note of the fitness of the NHL players around him when he debuted in the League last season. And that made a big impression on him.

    "I just know what it takes to play in the NHL," McCarron, 21, said at the end of development camp. "I was there for 20 games and I saw how hard those guys worked and how well-maintained their bodies are. And I was there at the end of the year and their bodies were still well-maintained. Those guys are machines, and that's what I need to look like to play in the NHL, and I've just got to continue to work on my body and continue to get better."

    Projected NHL arrival: This season

    4. Daniel Carr, LW

    How acquired: Signed as free agent, April 24, 2014

    Last season: Montreal: 23 GP, 6-3-9; St. John's (AHL): 24 GP, 10-11-21

    Signed by the Canadiens as a free agent after winning an NCAA championship with Union College in 2014, Carr had 24 goals and 39 points in his first pro season with Hamilton of the AHL.

    Carr, 24, signed a two-year contract on July 1. He made a strong impression in his NHL debut when he scored with his first shot on goal, a wraparound on his first shift, in a 3-2 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 5, 2015. The 6-foot, 191-pound left wing was consistently one of Montreal's better players during a dreadful stretch in December and January, but he inured his knee in his 19th game and did not return until the Canadiens' final four games.

    Projected NHL arrival: This season

    5. Martin Reway, LW

    How acquired: Selected with No. 116 pick of 2013 NHL Draft

    Last season: HC Sparta Prague (Czech): 14 GP, 5-10-15; HC Fribourg-Gotteron (Swiss NLA): 19 GP, 8-13-21

    After two major junior seasons with Gatineau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Reway returned to his hometown of Prague to play professionally in 2014-15. The Canadiens kept an eye on the skilled 5-foot-8, 170-pound forward during his two seasons in Europe and signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract on May 18.

    "I feel it's the right time to come back, and it's a new challenge for me as well," Reway, 21, said at development camp in July. "It's a bigger competition. It's going to be hard for me to make it to the NHL and I'm looking forward to doing it."

    Projected NHL arrival: Next season
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    MEET THE MONTREAL CANADIENS’ NEWEST PROSPECT, NICK SUZUKI

    By: Ryan Kennedy

    September 10, 2018


    The Montreal Canadiens are about to get acquainted with Nick Suzuki, and there’s a good chance they fall in love with the smooth-skating, high-scoring and ultra-disciplined forward who was acquired as part of the Max Pacioretty trade.

    Nick Suzuki had a pretty cool end to the 2017-18 season. Once his Owen Sound Attack squad was knocked out of the OHL playoffs (and after a brief stint with AHL Chicago), he became a black ace for the Vegas Golden Knights, the team that drafted him 13th overall the previous summer. From the end of the San Jose series through to Vegas’ victory over Winnipeg in the conference final, Suzuki got a chance to skate with the pros and see just how fast the Vegas pace was (even in practice).

    “I got to go for two weeks during the playoffs and it was a great experience to see all the games and how crazy the fans are,” Suzuki said. “It was a lot of fun.”

    Now, Suzuki’s future will play out in front of another set of crazy fans.

    Thanks to the deal that made Max Pacioretty a Golden Knight, Suzuki is now property of the Montreal Canadiens, the once-proud franchise that has fallen on dark times.

    Given how successful Vegas was last year, there didn’t seem to be a place for Suzuki in the 2018-19 Vegas lineup, and that was all well and good: the youngster is still just 19 and he has unfinished business in the OHL.

    “My goal is to win a championship,” he said. “I’ve been close before, but haven’t made the championship series yet. That’s something I really want to do and I want to do it with Owen Sound.”

    Of course, Montreal is a black hole when it comes to centers at the moment, so perhaps Suzuki slots in with the Habs right away. He’ll need a big training camp, but the opportunity certainly seems to be there.

    A mid-sized pivot with quickness, Suzuki drives possession and plays a versatile game. His biggest strength is his intelligence and he uses that to create offense, leading the Attack with 100 points in 64 games last season. Like many prospects, Suzuki could use more strength, but he’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas.

    Paradoxically, Suzuki has also won the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player award two years in a row. During that span, he has been pinched for just 28 PIM total. Could he be a future Lady Byng winner? It’s a proud aspect of his game.

    “It means a lot,” Suzuki said. “It’s really cool to win the award twice, it’s always something I’ve prided myself on. If I’m back, maybe I can win it a third time.”

    And if he does head back to junior, he’ll also get a chance to help Canada defend gold at the world juniors in Vancouver. Suzuki didn’t make the team last year, but the roster for the 2019 tourney will be almost completely new: only Maxime Comtois, Alex Formenton and Robert Thomas are eligible to return from last year’s gold-medal crew.

    Long-term, Suzuki gives Montreal another top-six option, though he’s probably not a No. 1 center. A top-line winger or second-line center? Sure, he can hit those marks. If Jesperi Kotkaniemi can develop into a No. 1 center, the Habs are set, because Ryan Poehling could be the next generation’s Ryan O’Reilly, but the Finnish kid still has a ways to go. And the upcoming NHL season still looks like a trainwreck for the Canadiens.

    So the Habs are probably picking high again this summer. Depending on where they slot, they might even want to consider taking Nick’s younger brother, Barrie Colts pivot Ryan Suzuki. He’s ultra-talented and may even go higher than his older sibling once the draft comes around. The brothers got to face off against each other last year in the OHL, which was surreal for Nick.

    “He’s someone I’ve tried to mentor and to see him out on the ice against me was pretty cool,” he said. “We had a lot of fun with it, a lot of family and friends came out. To see him on the other team was weird at first, but it was really good competition. I took him down a couple times.”

    Legally, of course — Suzuki had to keep up his sportsmanlike ways, after all.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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