Montreal Canadiens: Which Habs Prospects Will We See at World Juniors?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens had some great performances over the past few years at the World Juniors. Who will we see this year?

The Montreal Canadiens have been well represented at the World Junior Hockey Championships the past few years. They have hoarded draft picks from all around the globe over the past few years and their abundance of prospect riches were on display at the last two tournaments.

For the past two years, Alexander Romanov put on an incredible performance. As an 18 year old, he won the top defenceman as he carried a huge role for the Russians. He was great again last year, scoring over a point per game and throwing thunderous body checks in the defensive zone.

While Romanov won top defender two years ago, Ryan Poehling was even better. The American centre scored five goals and eight points in seven games and took home tournament MVP honours.

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USA won the silver medal that year, and though Poehling was great, they wouldn’t have been in the gold medal game without Cayden Primeau playing so well. The Habs 7th round pick in 2018 played five games, including the semi-final and final and he posted a 1.61 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.

They lost to Finland in the gold medal game, and Habs prospect Jesse Ylonen was playing a third line and power play role for the Finns. He scored three goals and six points in seven contests.

There was some uncertainty surrounding the next event which is scheduled to begin in December. With large gatherings still a no-no in most of the world, there was some question as to whether or not the next World Juniors would be cancelled or not.

The IIHF announced earlier this week that the event will take place as originally scheduled in Edmonton, but without fans in attendance. Basically, the Juniors are going to take over the bubble that the NHL is currently occupying.

Which of course leads to the question, which Habs will be playing in the tournament?

Well, we will have to wait until after the draft to get a better idea, but we already know of a couple prospects who will be playing in the event.

Cole Caufield played for USA last year. He had an underwhelming tournament, but should be a driving force of the team’s offence this year. He played five games last year and scored one goal and one assist. His one goal was a huge overtime marker that helped the Americans reach the quarterfinal, but more was expected from him offensively.

It didn’t help that he played almost the entire tournament with John Beecher as his centre and neither of the far more creative playmakers like Trevor Zegras and college teammate Alex Turcotte.

Joining Caufield on the American team should be Jayden Struble. He was invited to their summer camp that was eventually cancelled but the two-way blue liner has tremendous strength and should be a key part of the American defence.

Goaltender Frederik Dichow would be suiting up for Denmark, but they were relegated to the qualification tournament two years ago and haven’t won their way back.

The Habs could add a few more prospects that are World Junior caliber in the draft in October. They currently have 11 picks in that draft, and could find a couple of players from around the world that are going to represent their country in December and January.

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If not, it will be just Caufield and Struble. That’s okay though, because Caufield’s offensive punch and Struble’s physical, punishing style would provide more than enough highlights for Habs fans to drool over.