Montreal Canadiens: Positional breakdown of the prospect pool to date

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Jesperi Kotkaniemi puts on a Montreal Canadiens jersey onstage after being selected third overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: Jesperi Kotkaniemi puts on a Montreal Canadiens jersey onstage after being selected third overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens
MONTREAL, QC – APRIL 07:  (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Right Defence (5)

  • Brett Lernout (2014 third-round pick)
  • Nikolas Koberstein (2014 fifth-round pick)
  • Arvid Henrikson (2016 seventh-round pick)
  • Josh Brook (2017 second-round pick)
  • Cale Fleury (2017 third-round pick)

Some of these defencemen are going to need some big years to ensure they’re in the good graces of the Habs prospect pool. Lernout, to begin with, has straddled the NHL line after having an impressive preseason followed by a not so impressive first call-up. His stint with Montreal at the end of the season was more improved as he seemed to shake the nerves he had in the first. There are still things Lernout has to work on, but in an ideal situation, he would fit in perfectly on the bottom pair right out of camp.

However, and this is going to continue to be a recurring point, there are a lot of bodies around that can play there as well. Lernout being exempt from waivers makes him an easy option to send down to the AHL which could be bittersweet. The NHL is a clear goal for him at this point in his career, but if he goes to Laval and dominates, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be one of the first to get a call-up in the event of an injury.

Brook and Fleury each had solid seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kootenay Ice/Regina Pats respectively. If not for an injury, Brook would’ve been at the Summer Showcase for Canada leading up to at least a shot at the main tournament in December. He’s displayed a good degree of comfort in skating with the puck making the use of quick turns and stop-and-starts to get to where he needs to be.

Offensively, Brook is a weapon on the point as he’s able to thread passes through lanes and look for sticks in the slot for deflections. What he needs to work on his is consistency which appears in his play away from the puck as well.