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Francis Bouillon criticizes Logan Mailloux’s defensive play

Right now, before the off-season personnel moves, the Habs have nine regulars from the 2023-2024 season aspiring to break into the club’s lineup.

Who are they? We’re talking about Mike Matheson, Joel Edmundson, David Savard, Jordan Harris, Justin Barron, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Johnathan Kovacevic and Chris Wideman.

Even if Edmundson were to be traded (which is likely) and another guy were to leave (Chris Wideman via the ballot, even though he’s well-liked in the dressing room?), there would still be seven guys left.

While injuries and ups and downs can change things, one thing is clear: if a prospect wants to break into the CH lineup on the blue line, he’d better get up early.

Obviously, the big name to watch next year will be Logan Mailloux. If there’s one prospect who has a chance, with a big camp, to make his mark, it’s undoubtedly the first pick of 2021.

That said, because of the congestion on the blue line and all the circumstances surrounding it, I think starting with a stint with Laval wouldn’t hurt the youngster.

After all, Mailloux didn’t play much from 2020 to 2022. Whether because of the pandemic, his suspension or his shoulder injury, he fell behind other players his age.

Getting some mileage down there wouldn’t hurt the guy who’ll need Gary Bettman’s OK to play in the NHL. That’s my opinion, but it’s also that of Francis Bouillon, who works in development for the CH and knows Mailloux well.

In reality, for all the reasons mentioned, Bouillon would like to see the young man go to Laval, but there’s another one: his defensive game isn’t up to scratch.

Bouillon isn’t the first to say so, but he has (constructively) criticized this aspect of his game.

He’ll have to improve his defensive game and adapt to the professional game. I’m a bit tired of certain things in his game. It’s part of the learning process.

The guys are young. That’s why we have the American League. – Francis Bouillon

Of course, it’s normal not to be perfect, because nobody is. Especially not at this age and with the little mileage he had in the OHL from 16 to 19.

But as he matures, he’s such a good athlete that Bouillon believes he could have played sports other than field hockey. He likes the fact that he’s looking to improve, he recognizes his good offensive flair and he considers that the CH has a good prospect on its hands.

Going down, without necessarily playing 30 minutes a game as he did in London, could help him get used to pro field hockey, both on the ice and in everyday life. We could also see how he’s received by Laval fans.

If Mailloux is in the right mental frame of mind, as Bouillon claims, sending him to Laval could help him progress in field hockey. And anyway, there’s no rush in Montreal, is there?

In gusto

– CF Montreal didn’t win yesterday, but they didn’t lose.

– Jared Davidson collected three points yesterday. He still has two wins to go to win the Memorial Cup.

– Who’ll get the job in Columbus?

– A father proud of his son.

– What to do at this point?

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