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Logan Mailloux should make the club following training camp, says Arpon Basu
Credit: Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Shall we talk about the Canadiens’ defence for a moment?

If nothing moves between now and then (which is quite impossible), there are already a number of players who are guaranteed to start the season in Montreal once training camp 2024 is over.

Mike Matheson, David Savard and Kaiden Guhle are the club’s top three defensemen as of today. They not only have a place in the line-up, but also in the top-4.

Jordan Harris, Justin Barron and Johnathan Kovacevic, by necessity, have their place since they can’t go to Laval without going through the waivers first. Note, however, that the Habs could risk losing Kovacevic to the waivers if need be.

Arber Xhekaj could go to Laval, but that’s probably not the plan: he’ll probably start the season in Montreal.

If nothing changes and the Habs don’t want to risk losing a defenseman to the waivers, these are the seven guys who will start next season in Montreal, following camp.

However, I’d be very surprised if these seven gentlemen make up the Habs’ defensive corps at game #1 of the season. Some will be gone, there may be injuries… and the Habs will want to make room for one or more youngsters. It’s all going to happen.

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Jayden Struble, Lane Hutson, Logan Mailloux and David Reinbacher are the names most likely to start next season in Montreal – and I put Reinbacher’s name on the list mainly because he’s a fifth overall pick. I see him starting at the bottom.

Adam Engstrom and Mattias Norlinder William Trudeau are the other names to keep in mind. However, Laval is a more realistic option for them at the start of the season, we agree.

So, logically, there will be one or two spots for Jayden Struble, Lane Hutson or Logan Mailloux.

And according to what Arpon Basu said on his podcast with Marc Antoine Godin, he believes that Mailloux should start the season in the NHL – barring a catastrophe.

He says the situation on the right (with Guhle possibly moving back to the left) could open the door for him.

With Matheson, Guhle, Xhekaj and/or Harris (who can play on the right, admittedly) potentially there on the left, and with Savard, Barron, Mailloux and/or Kovacevic on the right, you’d think it would be hard for Struble and/or Hutson, two left-handers, to make the club.

To be continued, of course. There’s still time.

It’s important to remember that Logan Mailloux had a great season in the AHL, and being right-handed probably gives him an edge over other lefties in the race.

In bursts

– Is the Rocket about to announce a (three-year) contract with Jean-François Houle? My colleague Maxime Truman talked about the strong possibility of seeing him again next year in a paper published yesterday.

– Would Jake Allen as #1 have done better?

– Finally.

– Sheldon Keefe was ready to move on.

– A keeper to watch.

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