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Getting know Montreal Canadiens 199th overall selection Cayden Primeau

The Habs made a trade to get a pick in the seventh round, and used it to select a goaltender.

CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens acquired an additional pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and used pick #199 to choose goaltender Cayden Primeau.

He is the son of former NHL star Keith Primeau, opting to choose a career of stopping pucks rather than jamming them in.

He is a great athlete, capable of covering all of the net with his lateral movement, and already possesses good positioning instincts. He says he likes the way Pekka Rinne approaches the position, specifically the way he uses athleticism to his advantage.


After some strong seasons leading up to his draft year, his numbers weren’t all that impressive in his fist year of USHL play. In 30 games, he had a save percentage below .900 and a goals-against average over 3.00. He fared much better at the World Junior A Challenge stats-wise, allowing less than a goal per game with an excellent .966 save percentage in four games.

He gets a bit carried away with his movement sometimes, getting out of position (just like Rinne does) by being overly aggressive. He also has some trouble with puck tracking and rebound control, often just getting in front of pucks and blocking them from going in the net rather than stopping the puck and limiting offensive chances. Those tendencies may be reined in as he develops over the next few seasons.

That development will take place at Northeastern University in the NCAA, where he has committed to play for next season and beyond.


Future Considerations

He’s a large goaltender who knows his positioning and challenges shooters accordingly. He has an upright stance but it doesn’t affect his ability to move smoothly in the net or get down into his butterfl and move laterally. Is very engaged on tracking the puck and had the quickness to snatch pucks down low or high without coughing up a juicy rebound.

Hockey Prospect Black Book

Primeau is not a mammoth size goalie although still fits that prototypical size over 6’2” tall who plays a very solid game between the pipes with positioning, challenging shooters, limits rebounds, displaying his quickness in leg movements, glove as well as showing good hockey reads. He does a good job using his awareness for his success.


DraftBuzz Hockey: 123
Future Considerations: 100
Hockey Prospect: 58
ISS Hockey: 5 (Goalies)
McKeen’s: NR
Craig Button: 50
Bob McKenzie: 84

Primeau is a raw talent, and precisely the kind of player you’d expect to be taken as one of the last picks in the entry draft. He has all the abilities an NHL goaltender could need, and it will just be a matter of sculpting an NHL player out of the block of marble the Habs just drafted.

He’s going the same route as current Habs prospect Hayden Hawkey, giving the Canadiens a chance to have a goaltender enter the organization a few years from now. It’s a smart move with Carey Price at the top, Charlie Lindgren in the AHL, and Hawkey and Michael McNiven a year or two away from potentially being candidates to join the NHL.

The Canadiens have had a steady stream of quality goaltenders in the system for a while, and Primeau could keep the conveyor belt running.