Well, it's not like we've been keeping this project a secret. For the past couple of weeks, we've been collecting votes, finalizing the results, and then figuring out just how we'll be going about presenting this project. Over the next month or so, we'll be unveiling our current up to date list of the Top 25 Montreal Canadiens players under the age of 25. The list includes everyone that is currently under contract, or that the Canadiens hold exclusive NHL negotiating rights to. Players in the NHL are compared to players the Habs drafted that were still playing in US high schools last year. We've had some troubles really sticking with a definition of prospect, and this is really a good way to look at players that should largely still expect to be improving.
Here are the players under consideration, with their ages as of Sept. 15, 2012 in brackets.
Centres: Michael Bournival (20), Mike Cichy (22), Gabriel Dumont (21), Lars Eller (23), Andreas Engqvist (24), Alex Galchenyuk (18), Joonas Nattinen (21), Daniel Pribyl (19), Brady Vail (18), Dustin Walsh (21).
Left Wings: Olivier Archambault (19), Alain Berger (21), Tim Bozon (18), Blake Geoffrion (24), Charles Hudon (18), Philippe Lefebvre (21), Erik Nystrom (18), Max Pacioretty (23), Steve Quailer (23).
Right Wings: Alexander Avtsin (21), Sebastian Collberg (18), Brendan Gallagher (20), Patrick Holland (20), Danny Kristo (22), Louis Leblanc (21), Mark MacMillan (20), Aaron Palushaj (23), Ian Schultz (22), Maxim Trunev (22), Ryan White (24).
Defencemen: Nathan Beaulieu (19), Mac Bennett (21), Josiah Didier (19), Darren Dietz (19), Morgan Ellis (20), Scott Kishel (23), Magnus Nygren (22), Greg Pateryn (22), Joe Stejskal (24), P.K. Subban (23), Colin Sullivan (19), Dalton Thrower (18), Jarred Tinordi (20), Yannick Weber (23).
Goaltenders: Peter Delmas (22), Robert Mayer (22).
After the jump, I'll introduce the panel and review our last two lists.
The Eyes On the Prize Crew: Kevin van Steendelaar (Managing Editor); Andrew Berkshire, Chris Boyle, Stephan Cooper, Bruce Peter (Feature Editors); Justin Dahan, Christopher Ive, and Christopher Boucher (Contributing Writers). You're probably familiar with us to a degree, but if you're not, here's a quick summary. Kevin is the bigshot boss guy, and has been for two full Canadiens seasons. He's the straw that stirs the drink around here, playing the role of Marc Bergevin at the website. Andrew came on board here two years ago and has become notorious for his take on advanced analytics as well as kicking e-ass and taking e-names. Chris Boyle is our famous goaltending guru who is probably a better hockey analyst than everyone you know combined. Stephan is too good to be just another one of us, and he realized that earlier this summer by taking the reigns over at A Winning Habit, which comes highly recommended by all of us and will probably force us here at EOTP to be a better website as a result. I'm the guy who talks international hockey and rants about Mike Cammalleri getting traded mid-game in his spare time. New to the crew are our pair of Hamilton Bulldogs correspondents, Justin Dahan and Christopher Ive. They'll both be providing coverage on the Bulldogs as current season ticket holders throughout the year and their participation in this project marks the first of their body of work for the website. And last but not least, Christopher Boucher, who runs Boucher Scouting which has provided us with a level of data on players that no other source is making public. We used some of that data in our profiles on last year's ranking, and now we have the man himself helping us out.
Robert Rice, All Habs: Robert is well known in the Habs community for his close following of the team and more specifically its prospects. He first made a name for himself on his own blog as well as a featured guest on Hockey Inside/Out before getting smartly snapped up by All Habs, one of the top Habs blogs on the interwebs. If you've got a question on a prospect, shoot it over to him and he'll either answer you on Twitter or as part of his mailbag segment. He was part of last year's panel and we're glad to have him back for another go, even as our own staff gets ridiculous in size.
Brian La Rose, Habsworld: Habsworld is one of the longest standing websites/forums/blogs dedicated to the Canadiens and Brian has been their Chief Editor for several years now. He's a big part of the Canadiens internet community and his knowledge on the Bulldogs, prospects in general, the salary cap, and of course the big club is hard to match. He's been a part of this panel for all three years and hopefully for more to come. He'll also be doing his top prospects listing later this summer, so be sure to check that out.
Unfortunately for us, real life kept good friend of the blog Chris Topham from Lions in Winter from participating this year. We'll be sure to try and get him back in the fold next year.
Here are the past two Top 25 Under 25 rankings in full:
|1||Carey Price||Carey Price|
|2||P.K. Subban||P.K. Subban|
|3||Max Pacioretty||Lars Eller|
|4||Lars Eller||Benoit Pouliot|
|5||Nathan Beaulieu||Louis Leblanc|
|6||Louis Leblanc||Danny Kristo|
|7||Danny Kristo||Max Pacioretty|
|8||Yannick Weber||Alexander Avtsin|
|9||Aaron Palushaj||Tom Pyatt|
|10||Jarred Tinordi||Dustin Boyd|
|11||Alexander Avtsin||Jarred Tinordi|
|12||Michael Bournival||Yannick Weber|
|13||Ryan White||Ryan White|
|14||Brendan Gallagher||Ben Maxwell|
|15||Andreas Engqvist||Mathieu Carle|
|16||Brock Trotter||Aaron Palushaj|
|17||Mac Bennett||Joonas Nattinen|
|18||Brendon Nash||Gabriel Dumont|
|19||Magnus Nygren||David Desharnais|
|20||Mark Mitera||Ian Schultz|
|21||Gabriel Dumont||Mac Bennett|
|22||Joonas Nattinen||Alexei Emelin|
|23||Alain Berger||Andreas Engqvist|
|24||Daniel Pribyl||Brendan Gallagher|
|25||Morgan Ellis||Maxim Trunev|
|26||Peter Delmas||Steve Quailer|
|27||Greg Pateryn||Brock Trotter|
|28||Olivier Archambault||Olivier Fortier|
|29||Maxim Trunev||Robert Mayer|
|30||Mike Blunden||Mark MacMillan|
|31||Olivier Fortier||Hunter Bishop, Andrew Conboy, J.T. Wyman|
|32||Philippe Lefebvre, Ian Schultz, Dustin Walsh||-|
|36||Robert Mayer, Andrew Conboy|
|Preview #1: No Longer With Us||Preview #2: No Longer Young||Introduction||#26+: Missed the Cut|