Three positives for the 2024-25 Canadiens

It's been another losing season, but there is reason for hope next year and beyond.
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Boston College v Boston University
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Boston College v Boston University / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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Prospects

Logan Mailloux
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Whether they play in Montreal or down in Laval with the Rocket, there is a group of promising prospects. The group will only include players who have yet to play 20 games in the NHL. This leaves room for a nice crop of young players, who will push to play in Montreal over the next couple of seasons. 

Lane Hutson sits atop the list because, after two seasons in the NCAA, he has done nothing less than impress everybody who has followed his development. The 2022 second-round pick made his NHL debut on Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Next season he is likely to play the whole year in Montreal. 

The top of the list of prospects is occupied by the big three defensemen if you will. After Hutson, there is Logan Mailloux who has had a brilliant rookie season in the AHL. An AHL all-star, a threat on the number one powerplay and arguably the Rocket’s best defender, Mailloux could push for a spot in Montreal next year. 

Number three for the defenders in David Reinbacher who has been a solid late-season addition for the Rocket. He has impressed with his transition to the smaller ice and shown some offensive touch that many didn’t expect because it wasn’t very visible in Switzerland. He has top four defender written all over him and there is plenty of room in his development to grow beyond that. 

Owen Beck looks like a sure bet to centre one of the Rocket top two lines next year. He had a great season in the OHL, especially since he joined the Saginaw Spirit. Beck will likely never be a goal scorer, but his game in the offensive zone has shown growth. 

Florian Xhekaj just signed his entry-level deal and recently made his debut for the Rocket. He occupied one of the centre roles for Laval and appears to be a player that the Rocket will be grateful to have next year. He provides the grit and scrappiness that will be huge in the postseason and will keep opponents honest. 

Filip Mesar is currently in the thick of a playoff battle with the London Knights. It hasn’t gone the way his Kitchener Rangers would hope for, but Mesar has played considerably well. He should be a helpful player for the Rocket next year and his speed, much like Alex Newhook’s, has the quality to make a difference. 

Adam Engstrom is yet another mobile left-shot defender currently playing in the SHL. He could join the Rocket once his team is finished in the playoffs. But if the Rocket fail to qualify for the postseason, then he is more likely to join the fold next year, should he decide to.