Montreal Canadiens: Why Struble Leapfrogged Xhekaj

Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights
Montreal Canadiens v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Final Thoughts

Arber Xhekaj, Dmitri Voronkov
Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The defence has been and will continue to be a big part of the Canadiens' success. Not only do they have talented players already, with some working their way to the Canadiens. But they have tremendous depth.

The once weaker right defence pool lacked any real NHL talent. Now, they have a solid group of defenders coming through the ranks. While the offence is slowly coming along, the defence has become a strength.

Let’s have a look at the right shot defenders.

David Savard, Jonathan Kovacevic and Justin Barron are the top three for the Habs. 

Mailloux is coming along in the AHL. David Reinbacher is over in Switzerland but is likely to head to North America this summer, in preparation for the Canadiens camp in October. And Bogdan Konyushkov is captaining his KHL team - earning praise from his coach and general manager in Russia. 

The left side is the ultimate strength, with Mike Matheson expendable, that tells you all you need to know. Kaiden Guhle is already on the top pair with Matheson. Struble, Jordan Harris and Xhekaj have established themselves in the NHL.

Lane Hutson will be ready soon enough, pending the results of his sophomore season with Boston University. Adam Engstrom appears close to ready to make the jump to Laval, where I expect he will climb their depth chart. And down in Laval, William Trudeau and Nicolas Beaudin are developing - although, they look to be depth defenders. 

Needless to say, the Habs strength looks to be their backend. Which takes some of the pressure off of the offence’s shoulders. Allowing them to draft, develop and build a great offence to complement the strong defence.