The decrease finish of the Montreal Canadiens High 25 Beneath 25 is at all times a blended bag of gamers enjoying out their time on the reserve checklist, new prospects making an attempt to work their solution to an expert contract, and gamers who work to take it. The following step in the direction of the NHL.
It may be the place the story begins for some gamers, together with the latest success tales of Jake Evans and Cayden Primeau who’ve performed key roles for the group on the skilled degree. For others, their time with the Canadiens group ends right here.
Final 12 months’s checklist included Michael Pezzetta, who made his NHL debut that season, amongst a number of gamers who moved up on this 12 months’s checklist. The present group additionally contains somebody who has already performed one NHL recreation.
Notes: Within the voting graphics on this article, and all articles on this collection, the “EOTP” vote is the typical from a whole bunch of group votes. Members “black61” and “theptbnl” are additionally listed together with 9 EOTP staff.
52. Arvid Henrikson – Defendant – 24 – Lake Superior State College
The gamble on the 6’3″ Swede within the seventh spherical of the 2016 NHL draft did not repay prefer it did with others taken in that space, together with Evans and Primeau. Henrikson had his finest NCAA season final season, with 5 assists in 35 video games at Lake Superior State College. He’s coming into his senior season, however continues to be searching for his first purpose.
Henrikson could have a future in skilled hockey forward of him, however as he enters his ultimate 12 months of eligibility for this checklist, he will not be in Montreal.
51. Alexander Gross – Ahead – 21 – HK Sochi
Maybe it was a mixture of uncertainty about Russian gamers and an absence of success that brought on Gordon to drop 22 locations on this 12 months’s rankings. After two years at twenty seventh and twenty ninth, his fall may additionally be on account of a a lot stronger and deeper view pool.
Gordin performed most of final season within the MHL, the Russian youth league. He had 12 targets in 30 video games in addition to eight assists, however that was his most efficient season when he was among the many oldest gamers within the league. He was additionally traded from SKA Saint Petersburg to HC Sochi, going from a significant membership to a smaller membership within the KHL.
The Canadiens’ sixth-round decide in 2020 made his KHL debut, scoring one purpose in 14 video games. A powerful season in that league might even see him make one other push in these rankings.
50. Jack Smith – Ahead – 20 – College of Minnesota-Duluth
After being a fourth spherical decide in 2020, Smith has seen his inventory drop within the eyes of the panel. He leaves 10 extra spots on this 12 months’s checklist, however he handed Gordin. Smith has but to make his NCAA debut, which was anticipated final 12 months however the pandemic affected the variety of gamers who stayed in class.
Final 12 months within the USHL, he had two targets and one help in 10 video games. With a powerful season this 12 months, his inventory nonetheless has time to rise.
49. Jack Gorniak – Ahead – 22 – College of Wisconsin
Gorniak is one other participant at this finish of the checklist who will see a drop of greater than 10 spots from a 12 months in the past. He enters his fifth 12 months of NCAA eligibility as a graduate pupil, because of the NCAA permitting student-athletes affected by COVID to have an additional season. Gorniak was a fourth-round decide within the 2018 NHL Draft, and had 5 targets and 10 assists in 37 video games final season.
It appears like he’ll must take a giant step ahead to get an NHL contract with the Canadiens, and with the depth of the pool that appears extremely unlikely at this level.
48. Emmett Croteau – Goaltender – 18 – Clarkson College
Croteau was the sixth spherical of the Canadiens’ choice (162nd total) within the 2022 NHL Draft, and is the bottom of the 18 gamers who appeared on the checklist this 12 months. The 6’4″ goaltender had a profession save share in 35 video games within the USHL, however improved that to .913 in six postseason video games. With a restricted historical past, he can have each likelihood to stand up this checklist. In actual fact, this is identical path that Cayden Primeau, Frederik Dichow, Jakub Dobes, and Joe Vrbetic have taken lately after discovering themselves on this collection.
The success of those different guests reveals that the Canadians have been profitable with these late elections, however that might work towards him as a result of he’ll at all times be judged towards them.
47. Daniel Sobolev – Protection – 19 – Windsor Spitfires
Sobolev began this checklist at #31 a 12 months in the past however is seeing a giant drop in his second 12 months. In his draft 12 months, he didn’t play because of the closure of the Ontario Hockey League on the similar time he got here to North America from Russia. He used to skate that 12 months and work with coaches alone.
In his first OHL season, he did not have the offensive numbers to dwell as much as his peak. He had two targets and 15 assists in 62 common season video games, and had two assists in 24 playoff video games because the Spitfires made the OHL Finals. It is tough to get a learn on many of the 2021 draft class, and Sobolev might want to present indicators of enchancment as he will get older.
46. Brett Stapley – Ahead – 23 – College of Denver
Stapley has the largest drop on this 12 months’s checklist, falling 23 spots from his spot in final 12 months’s prime 25, at #23. In his senior season, he set profession highs in targets with 18 and factors with 43 in 41 video games. So why did a participant with greater than a degree per recreation fall so steeply within the rankings? Properly, as a result of it appears unlikely that he’ll signal a contract with the Canadiens.
As a result of NCAA rule change, he was eligible for a fifth NCAA season, which might have given the Canadiens one other 12 months together with his rights. he’s it seems he did not take that optionnevertheless, and people rights have expired.
Stapley is a smaller ahead, and there are numerous them within the Canadiens group. He has expertise, and we’ll see if he can earn himself a contract with one other membership.
45. Dmitry Kostenko – 19 – Protection – Khimik Voskresensk (VHL)
Clearly too good for the MHL, the defender was transferred to the VHL to play within the second league in Russia, which was a great transfer for the 87th decide of the 2021 NHL draft. Though Kostenko’s play was sufficient to play at that degree, he was virtually on the third staff when it got here to Russia’s U20/WJC program. He has some instruments – he is large, skates effectively for his measurement, and may shoot and go on the facility play – however the draw back is that he reads the sport to sluggish
By combining the Russian state of affairs with a slower recreation, Kostenko dropped 17 spots on this 12 months’s rankings.
44. Petteri Nurmi – 20 – Protection – HPK (League)
An attention-grabbing late decide with an upbeat observe from Finland showing at #44 on this 12 months’s rating.
The massive security first defenseman has risen by means of the Finnish system slowly however steadily. Final season he performed in each Mestis (second division) and Liiga, the place most of his video games got here. Canadiens scouts praised his potential to maneuver the ice and he additionally drew consideration to play within the prime division as a younger participant.
The voting passed off earlier than the World Juniors this 12 months, and it will have been attention-grabbing to see how the competitors would have affected his rating. Whereas he began the event as one in all Finland’s predominant defenders, he has misplaced the previous couple of video games.
His second 12 months within the Finnish prime league will enable him to progress up the order.
43. Lucas Condotta – Left Wing – 23 – Rocket Laval
Condotta’s score is likely to be a little bit decrease as a result of he was lacking on early ballots, however within the grand scheme of issues, it most likely would not have been sufficient to knock him out of this subject.
After ending his season with UMass-Lowell within the NCAA, he was assigned to the Laval Rocket the place he made his skilled debut with one help in seven common video games earlier than changing into an everyday within the post-season. He performed 10 playoff video games with two targets and two assists and by no means seemed misplaced.
With an offseason to work on and a full professional season, Condotta will look to solidify a spot within the Rocket lineup, and probably work his method up the depth chart.
42. Jared Davidson – Ahead – 20 – Seattle Thunderbirds
In his third 12 months of NHL draft eligibility, Davidson lastly heard his title known as in 2022. Davidson got here on sturdy for the Thunderbirds, who made the WHL Remaining towards the Edmonton Oil Kings.
After 19 factors in 23 video games within the shortened COVID-19 season, he exploded in 2021-22 with 42 targets and 47 assists in 64 video games. He scored 13 targets and has 16 assists in 25 WHL playoff video games. Each led the staff, and his 89 common season factors have been 23 greater than anybody else on the staff.
How you are feeling about him as a prospect – and his trajectory – will depend upon whether or not his ultimate WHL season was just because he was one of many oldest gamers within the league, or whether or not his recreation had improved considerably.
41. Cam Hillis – Ahead – 22 – Laval Rocket
Hillis performed at three totally different ranges final season, and already turned the primary member of the ECHL’s Lions de Trois-Rivières to play an NHL recreation. Hillis performed one recreation when COVID-19 hit the Canadians laborious.
As he enters his third full skilled season, he has but to determine himself on the AHL degree, though there are clear indicators of enchancment. He posted 9 factors in 14 ECHL video games, and the identical quantity of factors in 24 AHL video games, each profession highs.
He fell partly due to his lackluster manufacturing within the minor leagues, but in addition as a result of he is in peril of getting misplaced on the place among the many variety of expert superior prospects the group now has.
It might take an unimaginable period of time for any of those prospects to persistently break the Canadiens’ report. Tomorrow, we’ll check out 10 gamers who’ve a little bit extra upside within the group.