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
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 17:  (Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Goaltenders (3)

  • Charlie Lindgren (2016 free agent)
  • Michael McNiven (2015 free agent)
  • Cayden Primeau (2017 seventh-round pick)

The goalie position has been a strength in the Montreal Canadiens organization for some time now. The three names they have are well on their way to having solid careers, but as we all know, goaltending can be a little goofy. Primeau is the only goalie prospect who was a drafted by the Habs, but Lindgren and McNiven have looked good as well.

Lindgren carried a brunt of the NHL work this past season in place of an injured Carey Price. His numbers with the Laval Rocket were not indicative of his play as a goaltender based on how poor the team was in front of him. Like most successful goaltenders in the NHL, Lindgren relies on his position to make saves. Catching right is another advantage he has as it deceives some shooters coming down the lane.

Were it not for Antti Niemi, Lindgren could’ve easily been pegged as the backup going into the season. It’s still a possibility though if he manages to outplay the veteran at camp. However, his three-year extension gives him ample time to continue to improve his craft.

McNiven worked his way into the good graces of the organization, in many ways pushing Fucale out. He started in the ECHL and got the call to play in the AHL making some key stops along the way. Similarly to Lindgren, he was also a victim of the porous defence of Laval and should have better results heading into the new year.

To put it simply, Primeau was a steal. To see what he’s done so far and remember that the Montreal Canadiens got him in the seventh-round is incredible. He’s a calm goaltender making effective use of mental anticipation and athleticism to make his saves. After the year he had at Northeastern, there’s a strong case for him to make Team USA for the World Juniors.