Eyes on the Prize looks at young Canadiens’ prospects who are no longer with the club.
And it might be worthwhile revisiting a link HIO posted yesterday.
In assessing the depth of talent in development systems around the NHL, Hockey Prospectus ranks the Canadiens 24th:
The Habs had one of the worst systems in hockey a few months ago, but getting Alexei Emelin to become an NHL commit from Russia and drafting Nathan Beaulieu has helped bring Montreal out of the tail-end of these rankings. Danny Kristo and especially 2010 first round pick Jarred Tinordi did not look good at all this year, while Aaron Palushaj showed solid progression and could possibly score at the next level.
Pretty grim, eh?
In his look at the team’s Top 10 prospects, topped by Beaulieu, Corey Pronman writes:
Over the past decade, the Habs used to have a secure spot amongst the elite systems in hockey, but the consistent dealing of draft picks coupled with underwhelming projections for some of their first round picks have dropped them into the bottom-tier of the league. As it stands now, the system has two significant anchors in Nathan Beaulieu and Alexei Emelin, two nice complementary pieces in Aaron Palushaj and Louis Leblanc, and then it falls off into project prospects and depth pieces after that.
There’s actually a decent amount of ceiling in this system with an equal amount of risk, as is usually the case for players who are ceiling picks. Nathan Beaulieu, Alexander Avtsin, Jarred Tinordi and Danny Kristo all have quite desirable upsides, but aside from Beaulieu, I’m skeptical about the other prospects’ chances of reaching their ceiling.
Enough doom and gloom!