With the upcoming Rookie Showcase in early September which will feature the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators in Belleville, Ontario, there are many highly touted prospects who will don the red, white and blue before training camp.
The Canadiens released their roster for this mini tournament which takes place between September sixth and ninth and has no new faces but many who won’t attend like Cole Caufield and Jayden Struble because of NCAA restrictions. All eyes will be on players like Ryan Poehling, Nick Suzuki, Cayden Primeau and company.
Here are some players who will be present who may become NHL’ers after the pro camp comes to a conclusion at CAA Arena in late September:
Poehling was a star in his only game of the 2018-2019 season where he scored a hat trick and netted the shootout winner and now has a spot light on him. He was also the most dominant player at the Canadiens development camp in Brossard which took place after the 2019 Draft and was invited to the NHLPA Rookie Showcase representing the Montreal Canadiens. Poehling is coming into this season with a lot of expectations to perform, whether that be in the NHL or with the Laval Rocket in the AHL. His time in Laval, if spent at all, is projected to be small as he is trending towards being an every day NHL’er by the season’s end in my eyes. Expect him to be motivated at the pro camp.
Coming off an MVP caliber season in the OHL, Nick Suzuki showed why he is a pillar of the canadiens prospect pool in the CHL playoffs. He was an integral piece on the road to winning the league championship and making the Memorial Cup. He is coming off a great season which he plans to use as motivation to punch his ticket to the big leagues.
A more elusive player, Suzuki brings a set of tools not many players have. A shooter and a passer, he does both very well. He also fits in the same boat Ryan Poehling is currently in. Players who have the skills and motor to start in the NHL at the season’s start. If that’s not the case, then he will be here by the season’s end as well. Only time will tell.
The next wave of skilled defenseman is joining the pro ranks. First it was Victor Mete, then Cale Fleury and now Josh Brook is getting his feet wet in the big leagues. After a extraordinary season both on paper and on the ice, Brook is set to continue his good play from last camp as he impressed many.
His mobility and vision could make him a tough cut. There is a log jam on the right side with captain Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. There is a spot available at No. 3 right-defensemen which Christian Folin currently occupies.
There will be heavy competition between him, Noah Juulsen, Cale Fleury as well as Josh Brook. They all bring something important and it doesn’t matter who you are. Whoever plays the best will lock down the starting position.
A wild card and unknown asset to the team, he surely impressed at development camp. While Leskinen is nothing flashy, he does provide a lot of efficiency. He skated well and added himself to the offence when his line was pressing and clicking.
He’s on the left side which lacks the most talent and he definitely has the right tools to succeed on the North American ice. He will likely start in Laval, but I wouldn’t bet my house on that to stay. His mobility and accurate reading of plays unfolding may have him higher up on the depth chart. A secret kept hiding?
After coming off another winning season, Primeau should add some stability to the goaltending tandem in Laval. He’s got a lot of eyes on him with his stint at Northeastern University, but it’s all brand new in the pros. He’ll likely start as a back up in Laval, but nothing is stopping him from shining at camp and making the management’s decisions easy in the upcoming years.