Five Montreal Canadiens prospects who may be at the end of the road

WINDSOR, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Cam Hillis (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Cam Hillis (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens
WINDSOR, ON – SEPTEMBER 20: Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images) /

Cam Hillis

The Montreal Canadiens waited until the third round to hit North America after drafting their first four players from Europe. First up was Cam Hillis of the Guelph Storm.

Hillis will never be the biggest player on the ice, but he brings the most heart and energy to his play. That determination to succeed carried him to an almost point-per-game season in his draft year (20 goals and 39 assists in 60 games) with high hopes for an even better 2018-19 season.

Unfortunately, injuries held Hillis back to only 33 regular-season games and 2 games in the playoffs. The Oshawa native was forced to watch his team, with Nick Suzuki, battle and win the OHL Championship without him. Considering the type of competitor Hillis is, you could tell it ate away at him and that he was itching at the opportunity to play again.

Hillis took this season by storm. The Guelph Storm named him team captain, and he wore that ‘C’ with pride as he went on to have his best OHL season by far. Hillis put up 24 goals and 59 assists for 83 points in 62 games. This production came off starting the season late and only scoring three points in his first seven games. It took a five-point night against the Erie Otters, including a hat-trick to get Hillis going, and he hasn’t stopped.

Being a leader stats-wise, in all situations and in the locker room, has made Hillis a better player overall. There’s no doubt in my mind he gets an entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens, which may make prospects such as Fonstad and McShane expendable. And with Hillis turning 20 in June, he can join the Laval Rocket for the 2020-21 campaign.

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Those years after your name is called are crucial for a growing player. Complacency and consistency aren’t going to cut it out while making the efforts to take the next step do. These five prospects are at the end of their leeway period with the Montreal Canadiens, and it looks as if only two of them may get that ticket to the next round.