Skip to content
Michael Hage: “a skating stroke looking like Mike Matheson’s”
Credit: Getty Images

We talk a lot about Ivan Demidov when it comes time to look back at the Canadiens’ last draft because… well, because.

But behind him, Michael Hage was also drafted in the first round via a pick the Habs acquired on draft day. He won’t have the pressure of being the Habs’ “first pick” in 2024, but he’s still a guy claimed 21st overall.

He was chosen for a reason.

This week, on the heels of the Canadiens’ development camp, Hage is in town. The man who grew up a Habs fan is arguably the biggest name on hand.

Ivan Demidov isn’t here, of course.

So it’s only natural that, as one of the team’s top offensive prospects, he should be under the microscope. And on that subject, Tony Marinaro and Grant McCagg were on hand to observe him yesterday.

And on the heels of a recent episode of the Sick Podcast, the two men talked about a lot of youngsters, but went a long way on the case of the Ontarian.

What stood out for both men? Obviously, he’s very skilled and all, but the quality of his skating sets him apart from the others at this summer development camp.

Let’s not forget that Kent Hughes wants talented players with a big skating stroke.

McCagg is impressed by the youngster’s toolbox, but in his eyes, it’s the skating stroke that stands out. And Marinaro has a similar take on the situation in relation to his speed.

Here’s what he had to say.

The first thing I remember is how effortless it looks: it’s like watching Mike Matheson skate, but as a forward. – Tony Marinaro

Marinaro, who thought Hage was slipping on the ice, mentioned the name of one of the best skaters in the line-up. When #8 goes off with the puck, it’s always crazy to see how easy he is.

Matheson is known for not getting passed on the ice, let’s say. And in today’s NHL, that’s important.

I know that Hage is better on paper than Owen Beck and Oliver Kapanen, but a team needs to have a good pool of centers at the prospect level, in order to see many of them break through and others disappear.

And drafting Hage, who could be a top-6 prospect in the best of all possible worlds, is also part of that mentality.


– I expect him to slow down a bit.

– Family time for Alex Newhook.

– Flames: Anthony Mantha to relaunch Jonathan Huberdeau?[HF]

– Éric Gagné: lots of emotions as he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his 84 consecutive saves. [98.5 FM]

– Happy listening.

More Content