31 in 31: Top Ten Prospects Vol. 16 – Montreal Canadiens

Welcome back to my 31 in 31 top ten prospect series.

Last time, we took a look at the Minnesota Wild’s farm system, featuring a group filled with third round picks. This list was highlighted by Kirill Kaprizov, Luke Kunin, and Dmitri Sokolov. Today, we’re going to go to La Belle Province and check out who the Montreal Canadiens have in the pipelines. With that, let’s dive in and check out who they’ve got going for them.

1. Nick Suzuki (C, 1st Round, 13th Overall to VGK in 2017)

The Montreal Canadiens swung a deal with Vegas at the beginning of the season that sent Max Pacioretty to the Golden Knights in exchange for a package including Suzuki and Tomas Tatar. Suzuki alone makes this trade look very good for the Montreal Canadiens given his play in the OHL. He’s simply too good for the league at this point after posting multiple incredible seasons. He has 43 points in 28 games so far this year and will be in the AHL, if not the NHL next season.

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2. Ryan Poehling (C, 1st Round, 25th Overall in 2017)

Known as a strong two-way forward with a great work ethic, Poehling is currently in his third season playing for St. Cloud State University of the NCAA and he’s gotten better every season. The 6’2 centre currently has 17 points in 16 games, day by day improving his case to make the switch to the pros next season.

3. Josh Brook (D, 2nd Round, 56th Overall in 2017)

Like Poehling, Brook has steadily improved every season since the Montreal Canadiens drafted him. He’s currently in what will more than likely be his final season in the WHL, having put up 33 points in 25 games so far. The 6’1 Manitoba native also has a chance to represent Team Canada at the World Juniors this upcoming season and will without a doubt head to the AHL next season.

4. Jesse Ylonen (LW, 2nd Round, 35th Overall in 2018)

Judging talent overseas is always a little bit different from judging talent from the CHL because of the competition difference. So while Ylonen’s 13 points in 31 games may not look impressive on paper, they certainly are considering the fact that he’s only 19 and playing against grown men. Ylonen also has a chance to represent Finland at the World Juniors this season.

5. Cayden Primeau (G, 7th Round, 199th Overall in 2017)

For a 7th round pick, Primeau is looking very solid in the NCAA. Based on his stats, he looks like he could end up being a pretty solid goalie at the professional level. Playing for Northeastern University, he currently has a record of 10-3-1 with a goals against average of 2.40 and a save percentage of .918.

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6. Jacob Olofsson (C, 2nd Round, 56th Overall in 2018)

Olofsson was drafted in the second round along with Ylonen last season and, like Ylonen, will likely conduct the majority of his development overseas. The 6’2 centre is currently playing for Timra IK of the SHL and has six points in 22 games to his name so far.

7. Cale Fleury (D, 3rd Round, 87th Overall in 2017)

Drafted 87th Overall last season, Fleury is currently in his first pro season playing with the Laval Rocket where he has five points in 13 games. The brother of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Haydn Fleury plays a solid two-way game and will look to hone his skills in the minors before making the jump to the NHL level.

8. Jake Evans (C, 7th Round, 207th Overall in 2014)

Like Primeau, Evans is another seventh round prospect who’s looking pretty good despite where he was drafted. After five successful seasons with the University of Notre Dame, the Toronto native is in his first season with the Laval Rocket of the AHL where he has 19 points in 27 games thus far.

9. Cole Fonstad (C, 5th Round, 128th Overall in 2018)

Fonstad was drafted in the fifth round of last year, but he likely would have gone much higher if he was a little bit bigger. Standing at 5’10 and weighing in at 165 lbs, he’s far from the tallest guy on the ice. Granted, he does possess a game of pure skill and he’s currently in his post-draft season, having put up 30 points in 33 games thus far.

10. Daniel Audette (C, 5th Round, 147th Overall in 2014)

Audette is currently in his third AHL season, and he’s been alright so far putting up nine points in his first 24 games. Unfortunately however, the odds stack up against Audette given his age and the fact that he stands at 5’9, along with the fact that his numbers don’t jump off the page at you. He could still make a name for him, but he really has to produce to pass younger members on the depth chart.

Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we’ll take a deep dive into the Nashville Predators farm system and check out who they have in the pipelines.

stats from eliteprospects.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

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