Let’s take a random list of the Canadian’s best prospects in August 2018. That of specialist Corey Pronman, from theathletic.com.
Posted at 11:53
It’s close, four years. But it can be an eternity in the world of hockey. Pronman ranked potential CH customers sixth in the National Hockey League. “There is still some work to be done in the reconstruction, but the Canadian is in the right direction. ”
Pronman doesn’t think outside the box. Most experts have a similar list. They have the same reflex of favoring newly chosen players.
Of this group, which in principle is promising, there are only two players of the top 10 within the organization: Jesse Ylonen and Cayden Primeau.
Ylonen, the Finnish right winger, will turn 23 in a month. He has played 15 games with the Canadiens so far, including 14 last year. He had a good run in the playoffs at Laval and remains an interesting prospect, but is now overtaken by several youngsters in the hierarchy and there doesn’t seem to be room for him in anticipation of next season.
Primeau, 23, had a tough season, even during his recalls in Montreal, where he had catastrophic games, but played as a hero for the Rockets in the playoffs and remains the goalkeeper of the future for CH.
Today’s exercise shows the Canadian’s failure to develop his young players, before the arrival of the new administration. It also explains why CH is entering a new rejuvenation phase after starting one (quickly abandoned) four years earlier.
Kotkaniemi, the third pick in 2018, got off to a promising career start at just 18. He was one of the few in his class to land a job in the months following the draft and even racked up 17 points in his first 33 games, before hitting the wall (Jack Hughes had 19 points in 64 games in his first season in 2019- 2020).
The Finn then had ups and downs, and eventually showed great promise in the 2021 playoffs, with important goals, before being relegated to the stands in the final, then withdrawn from the CH by the Carolina Hurricanes with a hostile offer.
Marc Bergevin used the first round pick in exchange for acquiring Christian Dvorak (he also received a third round pick from the Hurricanes, but traded a second round pick with the Coyotes in addition to the first round pick).
Dvorak, 26, had a lackluster season last year, although he recovered with the arrival of Martin St-Louis. But no one would give him a choice in the first round.
Kotkaniemi, still just 22, will enter the first year of an eight-year contract worth 38 million. This year he should benefit from better wings, although the arrival of Paul Stastny may delay his promotion.
Kotkaniemi’s departure forced Kent Hughes to sacrifice defender Alexander Romanov (a surprise second-round pick in 2018 that wasn’t on any top prospect list) to acquire another unproductive young center, also a third pick, the following year., Kirby Dach.
After three seasons, Dach amassed 59 points in 152 games in Chicago, averaging 0.39 points per game.
After three seasons in Montreal, Kotkaniemi, six months older than Dach, has 62 points in 171 games, averaging 0.36 points per game. He added 29 in 66 games in Carolina, on a fourth line, to increase his average to 0.38.
Poehling, 23, crowned with glory at the 2018 World Junior Championship, where he was voted the most valuable player of the tournament, scored a hat-trick in his first career NHL game, never been able to break through one of the first three lines to Montreal. Hughes moved him to Pittsburgh this summer in Jeff Petry’s business to lighten his payroll.
Noah Juulsen and Joni Ikonen have had their careers derailed by injuries, Jacob Olofsson, Allan McShane and Cole Fonstad have never been good enough to land a contract, Josh Brook whose popularity was bolstered by great stats at 19 in the ranks junior, had a hard time adjusting to the pro ranks before injuries came to ring the death knell of his adventure with the Canadian.
Two players underestimated by most specialists, Jake Evans, 12And on the list, and Jordan Harris, 19Andit surpassed most of the hopes appreciated by observers of the time.
Nick Suzuki was acquired a few weeks after this list was published. We enlisted Cole Caufield the following year. They have already firmly established themselves at the forefront, finishing at the top of the team rankings last year, something that no one from the 2018 vintage has ever managed to do.
To Juraj Slafkovsky, Kaiden Guhle, Harris, Justin Barron, Sean Farrell, Jan Mysak, Filip Mesar, Joshua Roy, Lane Hutson and company to prove they can do better than their predecessors.
These aspirants have a great advantage: they are surrounded by better teachers and shouldn’t be lacking in positive reinforcement.
CH list of best hopes in August 2018
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi
- Jesse Ylonen
- Ryan Poehling
- Noah Juulsen
- Joni Ikonen
- Cayden Primeau
- Jacob Olofson
- Allan Mc Shane
- Josh Brook
- Cole Fontstad
- Fleury keep
- Jake Evans
- Cam Hillis
- It will be bitten
- Matteo Peca
- David Sklenicka
- Charlie Lindgren
- Daniele Audette
- Giordano Harris