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Florian Xhekaj: a recruiter was “never” impressed by his game
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Florian Xhekaj had the opportunity to sign his entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens yesterday.

He also signed a professional tryout contract with the Rocket, allowing him to finish the current season with the Habs’ club-school.

That said, Arber’s little brother jumped on the ice with his new teammates today, and it went well.

Anthony Marcotte, the voice of the Rocket, expects him to play at least one game between now and the end of the season in Laval.

This would give us a better idea of Florian’s style, because he’d have the opportunity to test himself against men, having played in junior this season.

I say this because RDS journalist Éric Leblanc spoke to an (anonymous) scout who didn’t necessarily fall under Florian Xhekaj’s spell.

The scout in question wondered if his game would acclimatize better to AHL style, because he wanted to see more offensively from the Habs prospect this OHL season :

I’ve never been impressed with his game. His offensive execution is average for an NHL prospect in junior at this age. – A scout consulted by RDS

Florian certainly has a few flaws to correct in his game (like all players his age)…

But the Habs drafted him not necessarily expecting him to develop into an offensive player.

And given that Arber’s little brother scored 34 goals this season (plus 31 assists) in 63 games with the Brantford Bulldogs, the Montreal organization certainly likes his offensive progress.

Opinions differ when it comes to him, because according to Francis Bouillon, who was on the La Poche Bleue podcast, Florian has what it takes to play in the NHL.

After all, Florian is a guy who isn’t afraid to go out in the corner and who relies on good speed on skates. These players, even if they lack talent, can find their niche in the big league… Especially as Florian has his brother’s mentality of always wanting to work to achieve results.

Is Florian Xhekaj the Canadiens’ saviour? Of course not, and no one has said so either.

But it will still be interesting to see how he fares at the next level, because he has some interesting qualities for a player who was drafted in the 4th round.

In brief

– The Flyers GM finds himself in a precarious situation.

– It’s been a long time…

– To be continued.

– Very cool.

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