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Habs 24-25 lineup: no room for rookies up front (other than Joshua Roy)
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As everyone knows, the Montreal Canadiens are gradually building up one of the best banks of prospects in the entire National Hockey League.

We’ve come a long way from the days of Nikita Scherbak and Noah Juulsen as the team’s top prospects.

With the addition of Ivan Demidov in the recent draft, the Tricolore has become one of the teams with the best young prospects.

Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton really do have an array of young prospects on hand, all with the potential to make it to the NHL one day.

Here’s a list of the names that stand out the most among the young players under 24 on the Habs roster.

Many of these names are the stuff of dreams, while others are underrated players who should not be forgotten.

Among these names, Owen Beck and Oliver Kapanen are two that stand out in my eyes.

Why do they stand out?

Because I believe that, next to Joshua Roy, these two forward prospects are the closest to securing a spot with the Montreal Canadiens.

In fact, both 20-year-old centers have been developing very well since being drafted by the Habs, and they could be knocking on the door of an NHL position as early as next season.

The problem for the two youngsters I’d like to see play in the NHL next season is that there’s simply no room for them in Montreal.

It’s all well and good to say that several youngsters will be able to fight for a position with the big club, but in the end, it all seems to be a losing battle for the Habs’ young forwards.

Aside from Joshua Roy, I don’t see how any other young forward hopeful can secure a position in Montreal.

Let me break it down for you by trios.

Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Juraj Slafkovsky
Alex Newhook – Kirby Dach – Joshua Roy
Brendan Gallagher – Christian Dvorak – Josh Anderson
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – Jake Evans – Joel Armia

We’re already down to 12 players, and for the two extra forwards, it’s likely to be Michael Pezzetta and Alex Barré-Boulet.

In short, we’re down to 14 forwards, and without a transaction, I can only see Pezzetta and Barré-Boulet being packed in, but it would be ridiculous to keep a prospect like Kapanen or Beck in the NHL to eat hot dogs in the stands.

So it’s understandable that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the Habs’ forward prospects to carve out a position in Montreal, unless one of the big contracts comes through.

It’s unfortunate, but that’s the sad reality right now.

There’s still hope that if one or two prospects have an excellent training camp, they’ll be prioritized and the Habs will go for it, but other than Joel Armia (as was the case last season), I don’t think another big contract could be sent to the waivers.

Do you really think the Tricolore could submit Dvorak, Anderson and/or Gallagher to the AHL for waivers?

Unfortunately, I don’t think so, and that’s a shame for Owen Beck, Oliver Kapanen, Emil Heineman and even Florian Xhekaj.

They’ll probably have to make do with playing in the AHL, except for Kapanen, who will go play in Sweden with Timra IK if he doesn’t make the team in Montreal.


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