The Montreal Canadiens have a wealth of defence prospects marinating in their system, and pushing for bigger roles.
Another one is emerging onto the NHL scene as a solid two-way defender, whose edges and powerful stride keep him on top of his assignments. He can skate and outmuscle guys at the NHL level, after leaving no doubt in Laval or during his NCAA career that he will handle himself just fine physically against the best of the best.
With some offense to give, Struble has the traits, and vision to make plays and help support his wingers in all three zones.
While he can sometimes go over the edge and be a little too rambunctious, you accept it, because he can do things like Arber Xhekaj can. He isn’t at that heavyweight level, but he plays physically and loves to demolish opponents with a big hit. Never shying away from opponents, and discouraging them from crossing the blueline on his side.
He has some offence somewhere in there, although he hasn’t shown a ton of it quite yet. I feel like he will benefit from playing with more skilled players, and smart defenders who have experience at the NHL level to share. Struble is still learning and growing, so finding some comfort with a steady partner who can mentor him and grow with him will be huge for the Canadiens.
Kent Hughes knows the team needs some more offensive firepower, that can help the team put more pucks in the net.