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Top 50 players/ prospects aged 23 and under: Cole Caufield… and that’s it
The Canadian is trying to build his club through youth and injuries.

This isn’t always easy, as my colleague Maxime Truman pointed out this morning in his paper of the day, since building with youth takes into account the ups and downs of player development.

And right now, the Canadiens’ roller coaster is in full swing.

We can ask ourselves whether Jeff Gorton has taken too much pressure off his players , and we can raise many theories, but above all we have to ask ourselves whether the CH has enough top talent.

And according to TSN’s analysis, we think they don’t.

TSN has ranked the top 50 players (and prospects who belong to a team) aged 23 and under… and the Habs have just one representative in the group. Cole Caufield, who is not having the season of his career, is ranked eighth, which is very good.

But behind Caufield? Nothing.

This means that Kaiden Guhle, Joshua Roy, Juraj Slafkovsky and David Reinbacher, to name but a few, are not included in the countdown. Nick Suzuki is 24 years old and too old for the ranking.

But in this ranking where the three Hughes brothers are in the top-13 (!), there are still some names of note for Canadiens fans.

Which ones? These are :

  • 15: Logan Cooley, drafted after Slaf
  • 16: Matvei Michkov, drafted after Reinbacher
  • 17: Cutter Gauthier, drafted after Slaf
  • 34: Pavel Mintyukov, drafted after Slaf
  • 37 : Kevin Korchinski, drafted after Slaf
  • 40: Matthew Poitras, drafted after Slaf, Filip Mesar and Owen Beck
  • 41 : Jimmy Snuggerud, drafted after Slaf
  • 42: Ryan Leonard, drafted after Reinbacher
  • 43: Oliver Moore, drafted after Reinbacher
  • 44 : David Jiricek, drafted after Slaf
  • 45: Tom Willander, drafted after Reinbacher
  • 46: Dmitry Simashev, drafted after Reinbacher
  • 47: Yaroslav Askarov, whom the Habs could have acquired by trading for (among other things) 2023 pick #5
  • 48: Jagger Firkus, drafted after Slaf, Mesar and Beck

Obviously, the point here isn’t to point out every mistake made by management, because the rankings of 18- and 19-year-olds can change very, very often over the next few years. But it hits home, doesn’t it?

It’s worth noting that all four players drafted before David Reinbacher in 2023 are in the top-50.

It’s also worth noting that Slaf’s quiet start to the season can’t help his cause. Reinbacher’s injury may not have helped his cause either.

But it takes young talent, whether it’s developing guys or getting them. That’s an observation.

In gusts

– Speaking of young talent.

– Still.

– He could play for the Tigres.

– The Wild don’t plan to change coaches just yet.

– The CH, who will play tonight in Anaheim (10pm), will train this morning. For the Rocket, Amerks are on the menu at 7pm.

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