The Montreal Canadiens have a deep pool of prospects. So deep, we have decided to break down not just their top prospects, but their top prospects by position. Here are their top five defenceman prospects.
The Montreal Canadiens have built up one of the best pools of prospects in the National Hockey League. Having a great group of young players in the system is obviously better than not having many promising options, but it doesn’t guarantee anything in the future. Some of these players will turn out better than expected but others will never reach their potential.
That is just how it is with prospects. The great thing about the Canadiens system right now is they have tremendous depth. They don’t just have a handful of shiny young prospects that were early picks, they have several nice options at every position.
That is why we decided to take a look at their best prospects by position. We could do a top five prospects, or even top ten, but they would be familiar names you have heard over the past year or two. We wanted to dig a little deeper, so we started by looking at their five best winger prospects, and then yesterday looked at the Habs five best centre prospects. Today we are looking at their top five defenceman prospects.
The Canadiens really started to build this pipeline two years ago at the 2018 NHL Draft. The Habs made 11 selections that year and followed that up with ten more selections in 2019. They hold 14 picks in the upcoming 2020 draft that were scheduled to host in June, but we may have to wait a little longer to see who they add to their impressive group.
While the Habs had plenty of picks at the past two drafts, they didn’t exactly cover the whole dart board when making selection. Instead, they were very specific about what positions they would target. In 2018, Montreal drafted six centres with their 11 picks. Last year, four of their first five picks were defensemen.
This has given them several interesting prospects on the blue line. Also, to be considered a prospect, I believe has to be 23 or under, not played more than 50 career NHL games, and not played more than 20 NHL games in two separate seasons. So, Kotkaniemi and Suzuki are no longer prospects in the system. We have seen enough of them at the NHL level.
Let’s take a look at the Habs top five defencemen prospects.