21st best under 24 Hab - William Trudeau

William Trudeau has been steady and sound on the Laval Rocket blueline.
Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens
Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the month of May, aside from the NHL Draft lottery, there isn’t much going on. So here at A Winning Habit, I’ve decided to rank the 24 best Canadiens under 24 years old. I opted to rank players that are closest to the NHL, so aside from David Reinbacher, there are no 2023 Draftees. 

So, without further ado, let’s go ahead with the 21st best player, in my opinion, William Trudeau. 

The Canadiens drafted Trudeau in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Draft with the 113th pick. In his draft plus one season, the defenseman posted the best point totals of his junior career, with 44 through 68 games. Trudeau played his entire junior career with the Charlottetown Islanders, spanning 160 games.

A native of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec., Trudeau was never an offensive dynamo, this is why he was selected in the fourth round of the NHL Draft. But his mobility and decision-making ability on the fly was certainly something Canadiens management felt they could work with. Defensively he shines best, leveraging strong backwards skating and pivots to disrupt paths to the offensive zone. He employs a smart defensive stick or uses his body to separate the opposition from the puck.

Trudeau projects as a top-four AHL defender at this point in his career. Given the logjam on the left side of the Canadiens defensive plans, it's hard to imagine he plays higher than sixth or seventh defenseman in Montreal. It's hard to determine whether Trudeau is more valuable on the Rocket blueline or as part of a trade package, but he is a sound defender, who can move the puck; which is always coveted.

Needless to say, Habs general manager Kent Hughes is going to have a busy offseason; in ensuring that the best 12 defenseman get quality minutes between Laval and Montreal's defensive brigades. It's not a bad problem to have, but it is a problem and determining who is best staying put and who isn't needs to be addressed soon. The young, promising defenders are coming up through the ranks and could push Trudeau out of the lineup unless he pushes hard to keep his spot.

Trudeau's spot next season isn't guaranteed, but given his stout defensive play and his ability to transition the puck up the ice; it seems likely that he secures one of the six spots on the Rocket blueline. Whether he climbs up the list or slides off, Trudeau has another big year ahead of him, with expectations being a playoff berth.