Montreal Canadiens: Scouting the competition for the Rookie Showdown

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 08: Montreal Canadiens Forward Antoine Waked (97) and Toronto Maple Leafs Defenceman Timothy Liljegren (78) fight for position in front of Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Ian Scott (70) during the preseason Rookie Tournament game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens on September 08, 2017 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 08: Montreal Canadiens Forward Antoine Waked (97) and Toronto Maple Leafs Defenceman Timothy Liljegren (78) fight for position in front of Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Ian Scott (70) during the preseason Rookie Tournament game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens on September 08, 2017 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 08: (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Blast from the Past

There are also going to be some familiar faces on the Leafs. Matthew Bradley, who the Montreal Canadiens selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft was signed to an AHL contract to play in the Marlies. He capped off his fourth season in the WHL with the Regina Pats scoring 37 goals and 42 assists. However, Bradley also benefitted from playing on Sam Steel’s wing after spending a large portion of the first half of the season as the team’s second line centre.

Stefan Leblanc will also be at the tournament in a different sweater. The Habs signed the 22-year-old out of the OHL. He played in 56 games for the Laval Rocket this past season putting up two (2) goals and eight (8 assists). Unfortunately, he struggled with bringing the style of play that made him an interesting find in Mississauga.

Whether it was confidence or nerves, Leblanc was never able to use those puckhandling skills on a more consistent basis.

Next. Five Storylines Ahead of Rookie Camp. dark

It’s tough to gauge who has the better the team between the three organizations. However, one thing for sure is the games between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will be fast and lively ones. But all three teams have players on their roster with something to prove and who are using the Rookie Showdown as a stepping stone to reach certain goals.

Kotkaniemi and Tkachuk are fighting to show their coaching staff they can play in the NHL. Getting an edge over the other would be a good way to push that point across.

Acknowledgments: Player stats from eliteprospects.