The Canadiens Prospect Post is a new recurring segment that recaps news and notes surrounding the young talent of the Montréal Canadiens. This first edition includes a rundown of new signings, player development, and personal experiences.

May 7

  • Cole Caufield may have a decision to make next season. That is to leave school and join the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, the team that holds his signing rights. If the OHL is up and running before the men’s NCAA hockey year, this might have to be a decision he will have to contemplate as it could impact his development. [Elliotte Friedman]
  • Mattias Norlinder is confident that his play will transfer over to the SHL when he makes the jump next season. He also states that Montreal’s management was “happy” with his decision to stay in Sweden. [Henrik Leman]

May 8

  • Alexander Romanov agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract. It will officially be filed whenever it is decided if he can play during the remainder of the season (if it were to resume), if not, it will officially start next season.
  • Romanov was compared to Drew Doughty by an Eastern Conference Executive. [Eric Engels]
  • Regarding his statistics, he states his coach in Russia wanted him to play a defensive role. However, he feels confident to play more offensively in North America if his coach wants him to do so. [Patrick Friolet]
  • Romanov’s agent Dan Milstein says that he is coming to Montreal for good, as soon as the borders open up. He feels ready to play in either the AHL or NHL. [TSN]
  • Laval Rocket signs Liam Hawel to a one-year contract. Hawel attended development and training camps last year.
  • Joël Teasdale in an article with The Athletic talks about his injury this past season and how his recovery is going. He mentions that during the year when he wasn’t able to be a part of the team on-ice, it caused him to feel a touch lonely, but he continued his rehab and is aiming for a return. Due to the current pandemic (and cancellation of AHL season), he was aware it likely put his plans to return to games on hold, but just getting back on the ice a few times gave him a sense of relief. [Marc Antoine Godin]

May 11

  • Joni Ikonen will have the opportunity next season to play a big role. The team he plays for in Liiga, Ilves, has lost two top centres in Arttu Ruotsalainen and Robert Leino. Ikonen’s development has been a rollercoaster since drafted in 2017, which has mainly been impacted by injuries. [Jokke Nevalainen]
  • The 2020-2021 AHL season start date has yet to be determined. The season could be delayed from the original October start date. This may affect the seasons of new signings including Arsen Khisamutdinov, Jesse Ylonen, Cam Hillis, or even Alexander Romanov and current player, Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Those who aren’t guaranteed a spot in an NHL lineup next fall may have to side aside for a bit. [Patrick Williams]
  • Cole Caufield has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He led the conference in scoring with 24 points in 24 conference games.

May 12

  • Cam Hillis signs his three-year entry-level contract. Hillis’ signing rights were set to expire on June 1, 2020.
  • Hillis signing his ELC may reveal the fact that he beat out fellow 2018 draftees of a contract (McShane, Fonstad, and Houde). Bergevin revealed a few months ago in an interview that only one player of the group would receive a contract with the big club. [Mathias Brunet]
  • Hillis in an article with The Athletic talks about his 2018-2019 season where he was injured for the majority of it due to an MCL injury that took him out of action for seven weeks and breaking his collarbone twice. He talked about how he rebounded from it, and how his love for the game motivated him to return stronger than ever. He mentions how he wanted to be a leader for his OHL club (eventually being named team captain), working hard on the ice and off. Hillis’ dream to make the NHL is still alive, and he hopes to join former Guelph teammates in Nick Suzuki and Liam Hawel. [Marc Antoine Godin]

May 13

  • Nick Suzuki is confident that Cam Hillis has the ability to succeed, mentioning his strong on-ice play and character. He considers him to be a leader. Suzuki also provided good words about Alexander Romanov, stating that he will bring a lot of good things to Montreal. [Alexandre Gascon]
  • Rafael Harvey-Pinard wins the 2020 CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award, which is given to the player that best combines on-ice performance with school success.
  • Cole Caufield says he wants to be more than just a goal scorer and wants to be relied on in all situations of a game. He stated a goal of his is to be trusted enough defensively to play on the penalty kill or to be on the ice when protecting a lead in the last minute of the game. [Todd D. Milewski]

May 15

  • Jayden Struble talks about his first NCAA season, his injuries, getting drafted by Montreal, his teammate, and fellow Montreal draftee Jordan Harris, as well as his experiences during his youth playing in the Little League World Series and the Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament. [Anthony Travalgia]
  • Cole Caufield has big ambitions for his sophomore college season. One of his main goals next season is to win the Hobey Baker Award, an annual award given to the individual that is recognized as the top NCAA men’s hockey player. He also states that he would like to “score a goal and get two points per game”, a scoring pace that would double his freshman year totals. [Jonathan Bernier]

May 17

  • Jake Evans mentions how he wouldn’t be where he is today without Joël Bouchard. He states how he’s had such a big impact on his career, by giving him the power to hit new levels and to reach goals. Joël Bouchard has proved to be an invaluable asset to the Canadiens organization. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Posted by TG