Montreal Canadiens Prospect Cam Hillis Gets Recognition in OHL Coaches Poll

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

The Montreal Canadiens have an interesting prospect in Cam Hillis. The Ontario Hockey League just released its annual coaches poll and Hillis’ name came up a few times in the results.

The Montreal Canadiens drafted Cam Hillis in the third round of the 2018 NHL Draft. He had just put up 20 goals and 59 points in 60 games as a 17 year old Ontario Hockey League rookie. He led all rookies in the league in assists that season and was named to the All-Rookie Team at the end of the year.

The Guelph Storm had high hopes for him last season, as they were loading up for a run at an OHL championship. Hillis was injured for an extended period and only scored 22 points in the 33 games he could suit up for in his second OHL campaign. This was disappointing for the Habs prospect, though the Storm persevered, and were led to an OHL title by Nick Suzuki.

This season, the Storm took a backward step as most Junior teams do after a lengthy run. However, Hillis brought his offence to new levels.

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The 19 year old centre scored 24 goals and 83 points in 62 games. He was named captain at the start of the year and clearly led the team on and off the ice. HIs 59 assists were 7th among all OHL players and his 83 points were tied for 12th most in the league scoring race. That is an impressive bounce back from someone who missed half of last season and barely put up over half a point per game when he did play.

The bounce back did not go unnoticed around the OHL. The league does an annual coaches poll where it asks the bench bosses around the league to rank the top players in 20 different categories at the end of each season. They release the top three players in each category from each conference. This way coaches only have to vote on players in their own conference that they are more familiar with watching.

The full results can be seen here, but the one name that Habs fans would be interested in seeing is Cam Hillis. He cracked the top three in three different categories.

The first category Hillis name came up in was top playmaker. He finished third in the western conference voting behind Cole Perfetti who will be a top ten pick in this year’s draft and Ryan Merkley who was a first round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2018, the same year Hillis was taken in the third round.

Hillis also finished third in face-offs. Although, two players tied for first and they still gave out a second and third place finish, so Hillis was really fourth in this category. The Habs prospect also came in third place in the best defensive forward category.

Now, Hillis didn’t run away with any of these categories, or even win any of them. However, it does give you a bit of a picture of the type of player the Canadiens have in Hillis. He was recognized by the coaches he played against for his ability to win face-offs, play a defensive game and also set up his teammates and create chances in the offensive zone.

It tells you what most people who watched him this season have been saying all along: he is a 200-foot player that should be signed to an entry-level contract by the Canadiens this summer. He has all the tools to develop into a smart, reliable, two-way player at the pro level.

dark. Next. What can Habs fans expect from Jesse Ylonen?

We should get to see him play a big role for the Laval Rocket as soon as the AHL returns to action. He isn’t the biggest name in the Habs pipeline, but he is definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on. If you don’t believe me, just ask any of the coaches that had to game plan against him this season.