What’s Next For Cedrick Guindon?

Set to turn 20 later this month, Cedrick Guindon played in his last OHL game on Wednesday night.
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

In the Ontario Hockey League battle between Montreal Canadiens prospects, Owen Beck and Cedrick Guindon, Beck’s Saginaw Spirit swept Guindon Owen Sound Attack.

Guindon was a fourth round selection by the Habs in the 2022 draft. In what was likely his final game of junior hockey, his team was trounced 5-1. The 20-year-old is now eligible to sign his first professional contract. 

It’s difficult to gauge what the plan is for Guindon; as he hasn’t exactly been dominant in the OHL. Had that been the case, then he might have signed his entry-level contract and played with the Habs. But at this juncture, it seems more likely than not that he will sign and join the Laval Rocket.

The Rockland, Ontario., native had the least productive season of his junior career, posting a 26-31-57 stat line through 68 regular season games. He then followed that up with one goal and three assists through four playoff games this season. Guindon wraps up his OHL career with 78 goals and 107 assists for 185 points through 204 games.

At 5 foot 10 and 170 pounds, he is amongst a group of smaller forwards that compile a good portion of the Canadiens prospect pool. Where he may fall behind in the thick of things, is with his lack of one elite trait. He does many different things well but doesn't excel at anything, which many other smaller forwards for the Canadiens do.

I expect that unless he hits his stride in the pros and shows more than he did during his junior days, he may wind up becoming an AHL piece. Called upon, when unpredictable injuries plague the NHL lineup. Otherwise, he is likely to mix it up in Laval, as an energy player who kills penalties and moves the needle with how smart defensive work.

His versatility to player down the middle or on the wing will be helpful moving forward, especially since postseason play can be decided with one faceoff win or loss. Having the option to slot him at centre, if or when the other centre gets tossed out of the faceoff, will provide strength for the Rocket. Rafael Harvey Pinard, who isn't a natural centre, was used in such a role and struggled, but Guindon has experience there, which could play into his hand.

It's far from a foreign concept for late-round selections to carve out a role on the roster, but their hard work needs to shine. Brendan Gallagher is a great example of that and Jake Evans as well, they have some skill, but their success is derived from their work ethic. It won't be hard for Guindon to find inspiration throughout the organization, Martin St. Louis is another great example, which I'm sure Guindon will have a word or two with sooner than later.