A new top-10 list of the Habs' top prospects allows us to appreciate the quality of the team's prospect bank
BY MARCO MARCH 29, 2023 (7:34 PM)
First, because it's a subject that interests fans a lot. Secondly, because it is extremely subjective. One journalist may love a prospect that another does not. So that makes about all the lists different, but there is not really one that is better than the other.
Well, obviously a list that doesn't include Lane Hutson won't be the best, but I haven't seen one yet.
This time, it was Anthony Martineau's turn to do the exercise and present it on the JiC show, with Jean-Charles Lajoie, on TVA Sports. And it's an excellent top-10, here it is:
We could debate for a long time about the position of certain players, but instead, I would like us to focus on another aspect. The quality of the players that are in the Canadiens' prospect bank.
First of all, the mere fact that a guy like Riley Kidney is not in the bank proves that the bank is very deep. Kidney is a guy who has two consecutive 100+ point seasons in the QMJHL. He was also a member of Junior Team Canada in the summer of 2022. And the 10 players who are positioned ahead of him (Martineau admits to having him 11th on his list) are there for a reason. It's not an oversight, it's just that there are others who could be even better.
Then there's Joshua Roy. Roy is the best scorer in the history of Quebec players with Junior Team Canada. This season he focused on areas that were lacking in his game, such as his skating, and was still able to put up 99 points in 55 games. Despite all that, he is ranked 7th. Would I personally put him a little higher? Yes, absolutely, but there are arguments for having him that low too.
Oliver Kapanen was one of the best players under 20 in his league this season in Europe. He's effective in everything he does on the ice, and he's started to produce a bit more offensively as the season has gone on. He is 9th.
Filip Mesar was a first round pick as recently as last year. He is 8th. There was a time when he would have been a top-3 prospect on the team. He is currently not even close to the top-5.
Will all these players become stars? Of course not. Will they all make it to the NHL? No, they won't. But the more good young prospects a team has, the more likely it is that a little diamond is hiding in the bunch. And when Riley Kidney is the 11th best prospect on your team, the chances of you finding a diamond are pretty high!