The Montreal Canadiens opened training camp three days ago with 72 players on the roster.
They had three days of practice and on-ice scrimmages with four separate groups of players before their annual red vs white scrimmage at a sold out Bell Centre earlier today. Then, they chose to reduce their 72 person roster by four players.
The 72 number is a little bit misleading as it includes Carey Price, Christian Dvorak and Chris Wideman who are all injured. So, it was really 69 healthy players in camp, but that was cut down to 65 this evening with four players sent back to Junior hockey.
Cedrick Guindon, was a fourth round pick of the Canadiens in 2022. He would then up his point total from 59 to 69 in the OHL while scoring 22 goals. He will now return to the Owen Sound Attack where he played each of the past two seasons. Look for him to have a terrific 19 year old season in the OHL as he tries to earn an entry-level contract.
Florian Xhekaj was also released earlier today. He is the younger brother of Canadiens defenseman Arber, and he impressed in his short training camp appearance. He has a lot of bite to his game but also some untapped offensive potential that we could see this season. He will return to the OHL as well where he will play with the Brantford Bulldogs where he had 13 goals and 25 points in 68 games last season.
Quentin Miller is headed back to the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. He was the Habs fourth round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and will take over the starter’s role for the Remparts in goal this season. He had an impressive 2.11 GAA and .911 SV% but will be behind a much worse team this season so it will be interesting to see how he fares.
Jan Spunar played last season in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. He is headed back there after getting a tryout with the Canadiens this training camp. The Czechia native is an undrafted free agent who will return to Portland for his 19 year old season.
The Habs now have 65 healthy players in training camp and will need to make significant cuts in the next couple weeks to get down to their roster of 23.
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