Montreal Canadiens: What Will Habs Lineup Look Like In 2025-26

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Starter - Samuel Montembeault

Fresh off a shiny new three-year extension, Montembeault appears to have emerged as the Canadiens starter. And for my money, he will maintain that role until another goaltender unseats him from his role or forces a trade. Number 35 has outplayed Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau, and his numbers speak for themselves. 

Monty has cemented himself as the starter, and pushed Primeau down the depth chart, and Allen is likely out of town. He consistently makes the big save, and the fans love him, he competes until the whistle every play. The leather flashes bring the crowd to their feet, with memories of Carey Price circling in their minds. 

There isn’t another goalie in the organization, at this point that could supplant him his starter post. The backup may soon push very hard for the role, but up until the 2026 season, Montembeault is the number one masked man in Montreal. When the backup is ready, Montembeault could be a high-value asset to leverage some draft capital or another roster player.

Backup - Jacob Fowler

Fowler has been one of the highest character prospects in the entire Canadiens pipeline, and he has been through adversity. He has zero ego, and is truly a fierce competitor with a real chip on his shoulder. I can almost feel the script writing itself, and at the end of the novel, Fowler will end up becoming the goaltender that wins the Canadiens a Stanley Cup.

I understand completely how big those expectations would be for an 18-year-old goaltender, but Fowler is wired like the greats. He just relies on his strong positioning, and while he isn't overly athletic, he has great lateral mobility and a strong posture allows him to stay upright. His glove hand and vision to find a puck through a maze are impressive and he is so positionally aware, that he makes tough stops look routine.

I think that it takes a special kind of human being and hockey player to play goalie for the Montreal Canadiens. Carey Price was special in that he was calm, cool and collected - Patrick Roy was fiery, mouthy and so dominant. Jacques Plante saved pucks with his face, and Ken Dryden towered in the crease, but was another rookie goaltender who had ice in his veins.

The Boston College Eagles' starting goaltender, picked up where he left off in the USHL. Fowler dominated the league after he was passed over during his draft year. He won a Clark Cup championship, and was named MVP of the Tournament. Now, 17 games into his rookie season, Fowler sports a 13-3-1 record, with a .925 save percentage and 2.16 goals against area.

When the 2025 season rolls around, the Canadiens could have a lot of talents drafted by the club playing on the roster. Many of which will hold such important roles. Which is a testament to the improved development team, and steady scouting.