Montreal Canadiens: Three QMJHL Players To Target To Continue Successful Recent Habs Trend

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
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The Montreal Canadiens, like every team in the league, will enter the offseason hoping to improve their team both in the immediate future and also well down the road.

As a rebuilding team, the Canadiens don't need to focus on quick fixes in the offseason, and will look to add talent through the draft and via trades and signings that will pay off in a few years.

One strategy the Canadiens have used recently is to target local players late in the NHL Draft. This seems to be a recurring trend and it is starting to pay off already with some depth on the NHL roster as well as high potential players who are on the cusp of making a difference.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard is one such example. He was a 7th round pick, who had been passed over in two previous NHL Drafts before the Canadiens grabbed him late in the 2019 draft. He is now a regular contributor on the NHL roster, and though he hasn't put up points this season the same way he did a year ago, the 25 year old is a tenacious winger who can kill penalties, works hard and adds some skill to the bottom six.

In 2021, the Canadiens made a couple of picks out of the QMJHL that are started to look really good. Xavier Simoneau was drafted in the 6th round and he is a scrappy forward who may be undersized but does not let that slow him down. He has scored 29 points in 38 games for the Laval Rocket and is quite a playmaker at the AHL level.

The Canadiens drafted him before his overaged Junior season which gave him no choice really but to play his first pro season on an AHL contract with the Rocket in 2022-23. He played well and signed an entry-level contract with the team for this season and next.

The Canadiens best swing at a local player late in the draft was Joshua Roy who appears to be one of their best prospects. That is in spite of being selected in the 5th round of the 2021 NHL Draft. He has 32 points in 39 AHL games and already earned a call up to the NHL level as a 20 year old.

The Roy pick was a fantastic one, and the others are adding plenty of depth to the organization with a local flavor. Who could the Canadiens target in the upcoming offseason? Let's take a look at three gret options.