Logan Mailloux Leading AHL Defenseman In Scoring

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Before his first season of professional hockey, the Montreal Canadiens were widely unsure of what they had, but Logan Mailloux has emphatically shown all the potential he has.

Despite playing far less minutes in the Ontario Hockey League than most AHL prospects, especially the two that were ahead of him, it's mighty impressive what he is doing. With Brandt Clarke and Olen Zellweger up with their respective NHL clubs, Mailloux has taken over the scoring race. All the more impressive, he is just 20 year old.

With 25 points in his last 26 games, it's safe to say that Mailloux is on an absolute tear. There were some defensive zone lapses to start his pro career, which is to be expected, but he has cleaned up play in his zone. In fact, he has played a more physical style along the boards, and his smart defensive stick and strong positioning have served him well.

The defensive zone growth is extremely promising, especially considering that it has long been somewhat of a knock on his game. More one dimensional than solid at both ends of the rink, Mailloux's two way game is looking pretty good. And if his OHL playoff performances are indicative of anything - it's that the best is yet to come - the increased pressure brings the best out of him.

It's easy to overrate prospects, and it's far from uncommon for a player to excel in the AHL, but never translate to the NHL. But the numbers he is producing are extremely solid. In fact he is on pace to surpass a former Canadiens superstar defenseman's goal total.

The shot, the vision and the poise on the blueline are just a few things that stand out about Mailloux. And given the fact that he is a right shot defenseman, he presents an intriguing option for the Canadiens. In comparison, the left side of the blueline looks much stronger, which could stand to Mailloux's benefit.

David Savard and Johnathan Kovacevic are the current right defenders on the Habs, and it's no knock on the pair, but they don't strike as offensive producers. Down in Laval, Justin Barron has been cleaning up his play, after some less than encouraging defensive play. But from a purely offensive standpoint, other than Lane Hutson, the Habs don't have anybody who can do what Mailloux is doing.

I mentioned Barron, and I do believe that he has the potential to be a good 2/3 right defender, but Mailloux looks like a good option to bet on for the top pair. And if not, a very good second pairing defender, behind the steady and defensively sound David Reinbacher. There are no guarantees in hockey, but it appears that Reinbacher will be a fit with an offensive defender like Hutson, and Mailloux could form a formidable duo with Kaiden Guhle.

With 24 games left in the Rocket's season, Mailloux has plenty of room to pad his stats and further develop his defensive game, ahead of what will hopefully be a healthy run in the Calder Cup playoffs.