The Montreal Canadiens had a rushing start to the offseason and the summer, picking first overall in the draft and making a massive trade for Kirby Dach. Since then, they have been pretty quiet as far as offseason moves or anything due to salary cap issues. Here, however, are the news and rumours for Montreal from the past week.
Canadiens’ Development Team Think Farrell Has a Bright Future
The Canadiens’ director of hockey development, Adam Nicholas – who was hired this offseason – thinks prospect Sean Farrell has a bright future in the NHL. Nicholas was Farrell’s development coach for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he played before joining Harvard University of the NCAA last season. He had an excellent season with Harvard, the United States Olympic team and the United States World Championship team, scoring 28 points in 24 games for Harvard and six points in four games at the Olympics, then finishing the season with six points in ten games at the World Championship.
During a question and answer session on Twitch, Nicholas had nothing but high praise for the fourth-round pick. “Sean Farrell, in my eyes, is a player with a very good head on his shoulders. He is phenomenal. He knows how to read the ice. He is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. This guy will be very, very special. He thinks about the game and he has elite tools; his shot is actually really underrated. He has a blistering shot. And he’s an elite passer,” praised Nicholas. He also added that Farrell is a “magician without the puck” who knows how to move and get space, as well creating space. Farrell is only 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, and the organization wants him to play as much as possible to get used to competing with and against men. He won the USHL Player of the Year award after scoring 101 points in 53 games with the Steel.
Drouin Looking Forward to Next Season
Despite seeing his name every day in trade rumours, Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is looking forward to playing next season with new head coach Martin St. Louis. He missed most of last season after having wrist surgery and never had the chance to play for St. Louis, but he loves how he talks about hockey and can’t wait to practice and play for him. Drouin knows his wrist will never be the same, and he will have to adapt to the way St. Louis coaches if he wants to have success.
This will be Drouin’s third coach since joining the Canadiens, and with every new coach, the fans and media hope that he will finally get things going. In his last three seasons, he has not scored more than 23 points, but he did miss significant time due to injuries and mental health issues. Last season and in 2019-20, he was on pace for 50 points before wrist injuries ended his season. There is still hope for Drouin, who is now a veteran and leader in the dressing room and looking forward to helping guide the young players. He is happy with the club’s future and thinks general manager (GM) Kent Hughes and vice president of hockey operations (VPHO) Jeff Gorton are laying a good foundation for the team.
Canadiens Guhle Not on WJC Roster
Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle, captain of Canada’s World Junior Championship (WJC) team before the tournament was cancelled in January, will not be on the team when it resumes this month as he is getting set to play his first season of professional hockey. The Canadiens don’t want him to start playing in August since he played well into June going all the way to the Memorial Cup tournament. His team, the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL), did not win, but he played a lot of hockey to that point and was dealing with injuries at the same time.
Guhle split last season between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Oil Kings, scoring 40 points in 42 games and another 16 points in 19 playoff games, winning the WHL Playoff MVP award. The Canadiens have high hopes for him and think he has a decent chance to make the club out of training camp. He missed participating in the development camp held in July, the day after the draft, due to injuries; Montreal doesn’t want to risk any more with him playing at the WJC. Two other prospects will not participate in the tournament either, as first-overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky and the Habs’ second first-round pick, Filip Mesar will not play for their home team Slovakia as they prepare for their first full season in North America.
Canadiens Allen Ready for 2022-23
Canadiens netminder Jake Allen held his sixth annual golf tournament to raise money for charities in the Fredericton, New Brunswick area. The event will support the projects of seven youth-oriented organizations, including Youth in Transition, the YMCA of Fredericton and Jobs Unlimited. Allen, a native of New Brunswick, missed most of last season with various injuries playing in only 35 games, winning nine of them while having a save percentage (SV%) of .905 and a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.30.
Allen has been skating and working out at the University of New Brunswick (UNB); he says he has skated at least 20 times and feels good. He is also looking forward to getting back with the team and working with the new younger players; similar to Drouin, he sees himself as a leader who can help guide the youth this season. He also likes Slafkovsky’s attitude and thinks his good mood will be good for the locker room. With Carey Price’s health still up in the air, the Canadiens could use a healthy Allen for the entire season.
- Daniel Harvey of the Laval Rocket was promoted to coach of video services for the Canadiens, as long-time video services instructor Mario Leblanc announced his retirement from full-time duties. Leblanc will remain with the club in the developmental department.
- Drouin, along with Jonathan Huberdeau of the Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and two-time Olympic gold medalist Melodie Doust played a charity ball hockey game in Montreal against Canadian tennis players to help kick off the 2022 National Bank Open (NBO) in Montreal.
That’s it for this week, be sure to check back in with The Hockey Writers next week for more of the latest Canadiens news and rumours.
Trege Wilson has been a freelance content writer for the past four years and with the THW for the past year. He is the co-host of the popular Montreal Canadiens podcast Habs Unfiltered on IHeartRadio.com.Trege is very passionate about all things Canadiens and loves to provide his readers with great quality news, rumours and opinions on the Montreal Canadiens. Trege has also been featured on JblamSports and JDFSports Podcasts; for interviews and guest appearances, you can contact him at any of his social media accounts listed under his photo in such articles as this one.