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2018 Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25: Introduction

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To get you set for this year’s edition of the T25U25, a look at how the list is created.

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Welcome to Eyes On The Prize’s ninth annual Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25!

This summer project began in 2010, as Bruce Peter (now a member of the research and development team with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies) highlighted some of the top young players in the organization ahead of the 2010-11 season. The series has since grown into our signature event, tying the future of the prospective talents from the most recent NHL Draft with the present of the young stars plying their trade at the top level.

The talent pool hit a peak in 2012, with 46 players meeting the eligibility criterion for inclusion: those who will be under 25 years old as of September 15 of the year in question. Since then, the talent pool of young players had slowly dwindled, from 44 in 2013 to 41 in all years from 2014 to 2016, to just 39 players to rank at this time last year.

Recent trades have added young players to the organization, free agency brought in a few more, and the 2018 NHL Entry Draft gave the prospect pool a major infusion of talent, with 11 new prospects joining the system and even a few more picks to add to the number for next year.

The result was a total of 45 players to consider in 2018. With 43 of them still eligible to be included in the project next year, and the Canadiens currently holding nine picks for the 2019 draft, that pool should only grow.

The players considered for this year’s ranking were:

Eligible players

Player DOB Age Pos Eligible for 2019
Player DOB Age Pos Eligible for 2019
Jeremiah Addison 1996-10-21 21.7 LW Yes
Alexandre Alain 1997-03-03 21.4 C Yes
Daniel Audette 1996-05-06 22.2 LW Yes
William Bitten 1998-07-10 20.0 RW Yes
Josh Brook 1999-06-17 19.1 RD Yes
Jacob de la Rose 1995-05-20 23.2 C Yes
Max Domi 1995-03-02 23.4 LW Yes
Jonathan Drouin 1995-03-28 23.3 C Yes
Jake Evans 1996-06-02 22.1 C Yes
Cale Fleury 1998-11-19 19.7 RD Yes
Cole Fonstad 2000-04-24 18.2 C Yes
Jack Gorniak 1999-09-15 18.9 LW Yes
Jordan Harris 2000-07-07 18.0 LD Yes
Arvid Henrikson 1998-02-23 20.4 RD Yes
Cam Hillis 2000-06-24 18.1 C Yes
Samuel Houde 2000-03-06 18.4 C Yes
Charles Hudon 1994-06-23 24.1 LW No
Joni Ikonen 1999-04-14 19.3 C Yes
Noah Juulsen 1997-04-02 21.3 RD Yes
Nikolas Koberstein 1996-01-19 22.5 RD Yes
Jesperi Kotkaniemi 2000-07-06 18.0 C Yes
Artturi Lehkonen 1995-07-04 23.0 LW Yes
Brett Lernout 1995-09-24 22.8 RD Yes
Charlie Lindgren 1993-12-18 24.6 G No
Michael McCarron 1995-03-07 23.4 C Yes
Michael McNiven 1997-07-09 21.0 G Yes
Allan McShane 2000-02-14 18.4 C Yes
Victor Mete 1998-06-07 20.1 LD Yes
Michal Moravčík 1994-12-07 23.6 LD Yes
Jacob Olofsson 2000-02-08 18.5 C Yes
Michael Pezzetta 1998-03-13 20.4 LW Yes
Ryan Poehling 1999-01-03 19.5 C Yes
Cayden Primeau 1999-08-11 18.9 G Yes
Alexander Romanov 2000-01-06 18.5 LD Yes
Kerby Rychel 1994-10-07 23.8 LW Yes
Nikita Scherbak 1995-12-30 22.6 RW Yes
David Sklenička 1996-09-08 21.9 LD Yes
Brett Stapley 1999-02-23 19.4 C Yes
Jarret Tyszka 1999-03-15 19.4 LD Yes
Rinat Valiev 1995-05-11 23.2 LD Yes
Lukas Vejdemo 1996-01-25 22.5 C Yes
Hayden Verbeek 1997-10-17 20.8 C Yes
Antoine Waked 1996-05-17 22.2 RW Yes
Scott Walford 1999-01-12 19.5 LD Yes
Jesse Ylönen 1999-10-03 18.8 RW Yes

To determine the order, EOTP staff members were offered individual ballots, and two members of our community were chosen based on the number of comments that had been posted in our weekly prospect articles throughout the 2017-18 season. Joining 11 of our contributors on the voting panel are canadianboy12345 (who will be listed as “canadian“ for short on the series’ votes graphics) and joepocket, whose ballots carried just as much weight in determining the order.

A final vote came from the hundreds of members who submitted a ballot. We received just over 400 reponses between staff and readers, and, reflecting just how deep the prospect pool has become, the average time spent finalizing a ballot was about 16 minutes. So thank you to everyone who took the time to evaluate all the players before making their submissions.

I removed the individual ballots from the sample as well as a few spoiled ones, including one with the only change to the alphabetical list being to put Jake Evans at #1, and another that impersonated canadianboy12345.

From these, I went through them to find the partial ballots, starting from 45 and working backward to remove blocks of five that were clearly still listed in alphabetical order (note to self: add a question at the end of the ballot asking how deep into the list a voter’s actual ballot went next year). Those submissions that ranked at least 25 players were clipped and left in the sample.

The result was 38 partial lists and another 353 that ranked all 45 players for a total of 391 ballots to make up the EOTP submission. Ranks for each player were averaged across all ballots that had a number for that player, and those averages were sorted to make the community vote.

The same procedure was ultimately used to determine the 2018 order from the 14 total ballots included.

If you didn’t save your list and would like to follow along as the players are revealed, make a request in the comments, and we will send it to you.

Before we begin talking about the players in this year’s series, first we will have a much-requested feature tomorrow, as Patrik Bexell looks back at the first eight years of the project. We had ranked a total of 115 players over that time, and we will explore trends, surprises, and complete whiffs from our time ranking the top 25 Montreal Canadiens under the age of 25.