Montreal Canadiens: Lineup For Second Game Of Rookie Tournament

Oct 1, 2022; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Filip Mesar (Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2022; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Filip Mesar (Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens are in Buffalo taking part in an annual rookie tournament.

The team’s main training camp will begin in a few days, but first the team’s youngest prospects join together for three games against rookies from the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators.

The Habs rookies already played the first game of the event last night when they lost to the Sabres 6-3. It was a back and forth affair for much of the game, with Canadiens prospects Xavier Simoneau, Miguel Tourigny and Joshua Roy finding the back of the net. But the Sabres, with an impressive group of prospects, pulled away in the third period and doubled up on the Canadiens.

The Habs rookies will get a chance to bounce back this afternoon when they take on the Bruins rookies in the second game of the tournament. It won’t be the exact same players, as the Habs brought 27 prospect with them, but today’s roster features a number of the same top prospects.

The team announced their lineup for game two as follows:

Xavier Simoneau – Filip Mesar – Emil Heineman

Jared Davidson – Jan Mysak – Joshua Roy

Ty Smilanic – Riley Kidney – Jakov Novak

Isaac Dufort – Cedrick Guindon – Riley McKay

Jayden Struble – Logan Mailloux

Chris Ortiz – Miguel Tourigny

Stanislav Demin – Noah Laaouan

Quentin Miller

Jan Spunar

It will be interesting to see Mesar making the switch to the middle. He played right wing last night and did not exactly dominate, but may have a little more freedom to show off his agility and playmaking skills as a center.

Simoneau looked good last night and had a solid rookie AHL season with the Laval Rocket in 2022-23. He should once again look more mature and pro ready than most other players on the ice.

Davidson is in the same place Simoneau was a year ago: too old for Junior but signed to an AHL-only contract with the Rocket. He will be interesting to watch as he make the jump to pro this season and will be looking to prove he deserves an entry-level contract from the Canadiens.

Mysak’s career is nearing a crossroads already. He struggled to produce any offense last season and Rocket head coach J.F. Houle commented he believes Mysak will be more of a steady grinder at the pro level and not a big point producer. Can he prove his own coach wrong by bringing more offense this season?

Smilanic surprisingly left school and is looking to earn a contract with the Canadiens this season. He is on the hot seat after struggling with Wisconsin last season and needs to have a strong showing to earn a pro contract.

Kidney will center Smilanic after two fantastic seasons in the QMJHL. He is a smart, two way playmaker and will get the chance to put those skills on display.

The Struble-Mailloux pairing should be a perfect match. Struble is a defense first, physical defender which will allow Mailloux the freedom to skate with the puck more, which he is incredible at doing.

Miller gets his first taste of action in the Habs organization after a strong season with the Quebec Remparts in 2022-23. He was the backup on a team deep enough to win the Memorial Cup, but how will he look behind a less organized group of defenders that are just thrown together for this one game?

The game starts at 3:30 PM EST, and will be streamed on the team’s Youtube channel which is free to use for anyone. We should be careful not to put too much stock into a rookie tournament but it sure is nice to say that the Montreal Canadiens (kinda) are playing today.

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