Montreal Canadiens Prospect Trade Paves Way For Starring Role At Future Memorial Cup

Jul 8, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; General view of the Montreal Canadiens table
Jul 8, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; General view of the Montreal Canadiens table / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens headed into the 2023 NHL Draft with a plethora of draft picks looking to load up for the future. Though they traded a couple of those selections for Alex Newhook, they still made nine picks.

Interestingly, three of those choices were used on goaltenders. While Jacob Fowler still looks like the prize of that group, Quentin Miller and Yevgeni Volokhin have been having great seasons in 2023-24 as well.

A QMJHL trade will pave the way for Miller to play a huge role at the 2025 Memorial Cup.

The 19 year old played the 2022-23 season on a powerhouse Quebec Remparts team that would win a QMJHL championship as well as a Memorial Cup title. He was the backup goaltender but put up tremendous numbers with a 2.11 GAA and a .911 SV%.

The Remparts graduated many of their top players in the offseason and a few more veterans were traded as per the very natural cyclical nature of Junior hockey. This left Miller as the team's clear number one goalie heading into this season, but it also left a very weak team in front of him.

That put him in a much more difficult spot. It is one thing to put up great numbers on a stacked roster, and while getting the odd start here and there against weaker opposition. It is another thing to take on a heavy workload with an underdog roster in front of you.

Miller performed admirably this season for the Remparts. His 3.04 GAA and .901 SV% don't look as good as his previous season on paper, but when you consider the team he plays on has gone from best in the country to possibly being one of the two teams to miss the QMJHL playoffs in 2024, those numbers are impressive.

The Remparts would have no chance of making the playoffs if they did not have Miller all season, but not surprisingly, they have traded him as they continue to rebuild their roster.

Miller was dealt to the Rimouski Oceanic for first and second round picks as well as the Oceanic's goaltender Vincent Filion. This is an interesting deal as the Oceanic are just a middle of the pack team this season, but were recently named the host city for the Memorial Cup in 2025.

It seems they are getting things in order for a big season a year from now when Miller will be back for his overage season. He should get the bulk of the team's starts the rest of this season and all of next year and will have a chance to win Junior hockey's biggest prize on home ice a year and a half from now.

This continued a fairly meteoric rise for Miller as he was originally passed over in the 2020 QMJHL Draft and was then taken in the 10th round of the 2021 draft. He now has a 2.65 GAA and .905 SV% in 47 career QMJHL games and will likely only put up better numbers as he will be playing on a better team once again.

It will be interesting to track the development of the Canadiens goaltender prospects over the next couple of years as Fowler, Volokin and Miller have all played well this season. Miller appears poised to continue his upward trajectory and has a great opportunity to win a lot of games in the remainder of his QMJHL career.