In this week’s edition of Montreal Canadiens news and rumors, Kaiden Guhle has been named to Team Canada’s World Junior Championship Selection Camp, Cole Caufield and the Wisconsin Badgers will open their 2020-21 season on Friday and defenseman Josh Brook has been loaned to Krefeld Pinguine in the DEL in Germany.
Plus, Laval Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard reacts to the AHL’s proposed February start date and Canadiens director of player development Rob Ramage discusses some of the team’s top prospects.
Kaiden Guhle Invited to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp
Kaiden Guhle, the Habs’ first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, is one of 46 players to receive an invite to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp from Nov. 16 to Dec. 13. Guhle will be vying for a place on Canada’s roster for the 2021 World Junior Championship set to take place in Edmonton beginning Christmas Day.
Guhle, who put up 40 points last season with the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL, captained Team Canada – Red at the 2019 U17 Hockey Challenge and was an alternate captain for Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
The Canadiens could be well-represented by their prospects at the World Junior Championship this year with Cole Caufield, Sean Farrell, Jayden Struble, and Luke Tuch having participated in Team USA’s camp and Jan Mysak in contention to crack the lineup for the Czech Republic. On Sunday, Mysak and the Czechs finished second at the Karjala Cup in Finland.
Cole Caufield and the Wisconsin Badgers Have a Game Schedule
The Big Ten Conference has released the first portion of its 2020-21 men’s hockey schedule. Caufield and the Wisconsin Badgers will open the season on Friday, Nov. 13 with a two-game series at Notre Dame.
The Badgers will play 12 games from Nov. 13 to Dec. 9 and the Big Ten Tournament will be played in March.
This is great news for Caufield and the Canadiens as it means that the 19-year-old will see game action soon despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, the 2019 first-round pick will likely represent the United States for the second time at the World Junior Championship next month.
Josh Brook Loaned to Krefeld Pinguine in Germany
The Canadiens announced this week that defenseman Josh Brook has been loaned to the Krefeld Pinguine in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). Brook is expected to report to both the Canadiens and Laval Rocket training camps for the 2020-21 season.
In his first pro season in 2019-20, Brook scored 13 points in 60 games with the Rocket in the AHL. Brook was selected in the second round by Montreal at the 2017 NHL Draft. The Canadiens now have six players loaned to European teams.
Joël Bouchard Reacts to AHL’s Delayed Start Date
Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard met with the Montreal media recently to discuss various topics, including the AHL’s target date of Feb. 5 to start the 2020-21 season as well as the current depth and potential of the young players in the Habs organization.
Bouchard mentioned that the February start makes sense considering that the NHL wants to begin in January and usually their training camps start before an AHL season so that would give the teams time to prepare the players who don’t make the NHL cut out of the gate.
“If it started tomorrow, I’d be ready. For sure, it helps us establish a certain plan, but even if we didn’t have a date, it doesn’t change my job. Regardless of the schedule or the realities for the NHL, I’ll always be ready for when we get the “go,” regardless of the conditions,” Bouchard said.
Rob Ramage Provides Prospect Update
Last week, Canadiens Director of player development Rob Ramage gave an offseason prospect progress report.
Most notably, he spoke about highly touted defenseman Mattias Norlinder, Montreal’s third-round pick in 2019, who has been electrifying during his first year in the Swedish Hockey League. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury during a game at the Karjala Cup over the weekend.
“He’s a humble guy; he’s quiet. But there’s a confidence within him, and when he’s on the ice, you see that confidence come out. I’m excited about this guy. I don’t want to oversell it at all, because it’s his first year in the SHL, so there are going to be some growing pains. But he’s very determined, a hard worker, he’s a rink rat. I’m hoping we see him over here sooner than later,” Ramage said.
Undoubtedly, fans would also love to see Norlinder in a Canadiens jersey as quickly as possible. Until then, they’ll get to enjoy watching Alexander Romanov in Habs colors.
What’s Next for the Canadiens
With Montreal’s roster essentially set for the 2020-21 campaign, we have officially reached the dog days of the offseason as we await details about the new season. At least we’ll get to enjoy the annual holiday tradition of watching the World Juniors with hopefully a few Canadiens’ prospects to root for.
Melissa has been covering the Montreal Canadiens for The Hockey Writers since March of 2020. She is also THW’s Social Media Community Manager and a co-host of Chicks & Sticks, a weekly show produced by THW. In 2006, she spearheaded the social media initiatives for Tennis Canada and Rogers Cup and was the primary person responsible for their upkeep for over 10 years. She has written articles for multiple tennis websites and interviewed the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams. While her career in sports started in tennis, her first love has always been hockey. She has a journalism degree from Concordia University.