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It’s been a tough couple of months for Filip Mesar in the OHL
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
A few months ago, Filip Mesar was the talk of Montreal for all the right reasons. The young Canadien prospect was rebounding in the OHL after a more difficult 2022-23 season, and following a most impressive CMJ, things seemed to be heading in the right direction for Mesar.

It felt good, especially after some difficult months for the young Slovak forward.

And when the Kitchener Rangers acquired the promising Eduard Sale, there was reason to believe that Mesar would continue to blossom offensively… but in the end, that’s far from being the case.

In fact, in 20 games since his return from the WCJ, Mesar has amassed just 17 points, putting him at a rate of less than one point per game.

For a 20-year-old who isn’t necessarily a more defensive-minded player (like Owen Beck, for example), this is a tad disappointing.

That said, it’s not all bad news either: Mesar is indeed producing less, but his role is changing, as he’s improving defensively.

We’re seeing Mesar take a lot more face-offs than he did at the start of the season (he’s been taking around 15 per game for the past few weeks, whereas he was only taking a handful in the first few months of the season), and while he’s not necessarily excellent at it, he’s far from bad with an efficiency rate of 49.39% in the last month.

Mesar said a few weeks ago that he’d be ready if the Habs wanted to try him out at center (even though he sees himself primarily as a winger), and right now he’s at least able to demonstrate that he can get by in the face-off circle.

That said, even if he does show interesting progress at center, the offensive production will still have to come eventually. He remains one of the team’s great offensive prospects, and seeing him produce less than a point a game over the past two months (when he had 32 points in his first 20 games) is a little worrying.

49 points in 40 games over the course of a season isn’t catastrophic… but he’ll eventually have to start producing like the Mesar of the early season if he wants to be part of the team’s future in Montreal in an offensive role.

In brief

– Jake Allen has joined the Devils.

– If John Tortorella is fined for his actions last night, the Flyers owner will pay.

– A name to watch.

– New one-year contract for Louis Domingue in the Big Apple.

– Mac Jones moves to Jaguars.

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