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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Antonin Verreault

Antonin Verreault was the second overall pick in the 2020 QMJHL draft by the Gatineau Olympiques. He obviously entered the QMJHL with a lot of hype as anyone would that is drafted that high.

Things didn't go exactly as planned. The talented left winger battled injuries each of the first three seasons of his QMJHL career. As a rookie he played just 31 games but had six goals and 29 points in that time. That is an impressive points per game pace for a 16 year old in the QMJHL but he missed half the season with injury.

The next season was better, but he still missed some action as he played 56 games and scored 46 points. Last season, Verreault had wrist surgery in the summer and missed most of the first half of the season. Shortly after returning to the lineup, he fractured his jaw and would end up playing 38 games and scored 29 points in that time.

So, his first three seasons didn't exactly go according to plan as he missed significant time with injuries and though he showed offensive promise, and blazing speed, he couldn't put it all together due to lengthy absences.

He was invited to the Edmonton Oilers rookie camp in 2022 and 2023, but not drafted by an NHL team. That wasn't due to a lack of talent, just a lack of views as teams would have no idea what they were getting as they rarely saw him play fully healthy.

Well, they are getting a good look at him healthy in 2023-24. Verreault was traded to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the offseason and the Mirabel, Quebec native is rewarding them for their belief in him. The 19 year old winger has scored 27 goals and 78 points in 50 games to begin this season and is leading the QMJHL in scoring as we enter the stretch drive of the season.

Finally healthy, Verreault is proving to be the player everyone thought he was when he was selected second overall in the QMJHL Draft. That should put him on the radar for NHL teams and the Canadiens would be wise to use one of their final picks of the 2024 NHL Draft on him.