Montreal Canadiens 2022-23 Prospect All-Star Team
There were plenty of great performances by Habs prospects this season, but some players stood out from the rest.
The writers of our Catching The Torch and European Prospect Report sat down to pick out a combined prospect all-star team for the season.
The rule for consideration was that the players had to have been featured in the article series. This meant that players playing in professional leagues in Europe were eligible, and that players who graduated to the professional ranks in North America at the end of the season were also selectable. The final list of options looked like this:
|CHL/ECHL||Owen Beck||Logan Mailloux||Joe Vrbetic|
|Jared Davidson||Daniil Sobolev|
|NCAA||Blake Biondi||Lane Hutson||Emmett Croteau|
|Sean Farrell||Jayden Struble||Jakub Dobeš|
|Europe||Alexander Gordin||Adam Engström||Frederik Dichow|
|Oliver Kapanen||Dmitri Kostenko|
After our discussion, we settled on a team made up of the best 2022-23 prospect at each position.
Goaltender: Jakub Dobeš
Jakub Dobeš had a season in which he kind of set himself up as the best goaltending prospect in the system, and I'd even go so far as including Cayden Primeau in that. Dobeš is one of those big guys who don't exclusively rely on their size. It is an aspect that holds him back in some elements because sometimes he'll go down early and expect his shoulders to be high enough to stop a high shot, for example.
He's the type of netminder who is extremely athletic, extremely good post to post; really smart. One of the main things that he does is keep his eye on the puck and tracks where it is going.
He really was Ohio State's best player.
Defenceman: Lane Hutson
He was left out of the Hobey Baker Award finalists, but you cannot leave him out of the prospect all-star team this year. He should have been a top-three contender. He did make the top 10 list, but got cut for the top three, which is egregious.
He was ranked outside of the first round, or taken outside of the first round, and he's not the kind of defenceman that the Hobey Baker panel really should highlight. Much have been said, and there is a lot more to be said, about Lane Hutson, who will go to the World Championship in Finland and Latvia.
Defenceman: Adam Engström
Engström was genuinely one of the best regular-season players, but his playoff run just blew that out of the water. His consistency with his defensive play has come up a couple of really good steps from the regular season. Just his overall ability to be a menace in defence and transition on the breakout, consistently connecting plays and getting the puck up the zone gives him this spot. The fact that he has played on both sides for Rögle in the SHL means that he isn't included out of position.
Engström has an aggressive nature and knows when to use it, something Mattias Norlinder doesn't have. Norlinder also wasn't in the SHL at this point of his career.
Centre: Riley Kidney
The most improved prospect in the system is centre Riley Kidney. And there is some tough competition this year for 'most improved.'
He completely revolutionized his ability to cut to the inside and get involved between the dots in his plays. He used to just stay on the outside and make plays from there, but he has came a long, long way in terms of that. It is really impressive in the way he's improved in this game, really taking charge of the game.
It speaks volumes that he decided to be the focal point, the main guy, on his team and he's taken that to a whole new level.
Winger: Sean Farrell
More often than not, Farrell was the best player on his team, no matter which round teammates were taken in their respective drafts. Farrell was the most impressive prospect outside of Lane Hutson in the system this year.
It is amazing as Montreal has a full core of prospects that really have taken a full step forward, and on top of that it is more or less a full line of prospects that has taken that step as well.
Winger: Joshua Roy
He has always been the type of guy who can coast on the skill of his shot, but he has added some elements that make him such a good complementary player, and that's just really been the main thing in this game that's improved so much. It is very impressive what we have seen from him in terms of what he's able to do with the puck.
He is going to be a really decent complementary middle-six player. The benefit of Roy is that he is fun to watch but he just lets stars kind of flourish.
Relevant podcasts, for Hadi's thoughts on the prospects that didn't make the cut:
- Hadi grades the defenders:
- Hadi grades the forwards:
- The All-Star podcast: