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Adam Engstrom could finish the 2023-2024 season in Montreal
Credit: YouTube
At the moment, the Canadiens have too few forwards, but no shortage of defensemen. In fact, there are too many.

Mike Matheson, David Savard, Jordan Harris, Gustav Lindstrom, Justin Barron, Jayden Struble, Kaiden Guhle and Johnathan Kovacevic are the guys in town right now.

Inevitably, this is blocking the way for Laval-based defensemen who are trying to move up to Montreal. After all, even though the Habs are playing with seven defensemen, Lindstrom is still in the stands these days. This pushes the Rocket guys even further back.

Laval currently has eight defensemen: Logan Mailloux, Mattias Norlinder, William Trudeau, Arber Xhekaj, Nicolas Beaudin, Brady Keeper, Tobie Bisson and Olivier Galipeau. The first six have NHL recall contracts, but not Bisson or Galipeau.

That’s a lot of people at Mass. After all, Xhekaj wants to return to the NHL and he should get his chance. We know that Mailloux should be tested too, according to his comments at the start of the season.

And what about William Trudeau, who everyone thought was in his soup at the Habs’ last camp?

The reality is that there are already a few too many people at Mass right now in the Habs organization. Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton have to find the right balance between having too many defensemen in the organization and having too few.

Injuries are a factor… and the Habs must also think about veteran leadership before trading one of them. #DavidSavard

But on top of all that, you have to add David Reinbacher and Lane Hutson, who are expected to finish the season in Montreal or Laval. And according to Radio-Canada’s Marc-Antoine Godin, Adam Engstrom’s name could also potentially be added to the list.

We seem to forget it sometimes because he plays in Europe, but Engstrom (12 points in 29 games this year in Sweden) is also a top prospect for the Montreal Canadiens.

The guy’s got skills.

In fact, we’ve known for a while that the 2023-2024 campaign is likely to be his last in Europe. And under such conditions, if his season in Sweden ends before that of the Habs (or the Rocket), it makes sense to bring him here for a few games.

Of course, this would mean congestion on the blue line. With all the guys in Montreal and Laval, plus Reinbacher, Hutson and Engstrom… it’s a lot, let’s say.


We’ll have to keep an eye on this in the coming months, but for now, it’s a good reminder that, one day, we’ll have to trade defensemen because there won’t be room for everyone.

It’s one thing to have a few extra guys for a few weeks at the end of the season (i.e., in the short term), but you can’t have too many at the next camp either. That’s part of the equation.

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