clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2022 Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25: Introduction

Before we begin the countdown to number one, this is how our list of 52 players was created.

2022 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s time to begin Eyes On The Prize’s 13th annual Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25!

The series focuses on the top young talent in the organization, projecting their skills to identify who will compete (or not) for places on the NHL roster in the future, slotting them in among those who are already stars with the Canadiens. Any player born after September 15, 1997, taking us back as far as the 2016 NHL Draft class, was eligible for inclusion. The pool totals 52 players, smashing the previous record of 46.

One of the players we ranked was Brett Stapley, whose signing rights are set to expire on the day this article publishes. There is a wrinkle in that story, however, as those rights would be extended for another year if he chooses to use an NCAA rule put in place for the pandemic and plays a fifth year of college hockey.

Stapley had broken into the Top 25 the past two seasons, ranking 23rd last year. He then posted 43 points in 41 games in 2021-22 for the University of Denver. Despite those performances, the indication was that the Canadiens have decided not to sign him, something that would have been unfathomable just a few years ago when the organization signed just about any of their own properties they could to fill out the system.

The quality of the prospect pool has reached a point where only the best players need to be given contracts, so the potential decision to leave Stapley without a contract offer is one we can expect to see more often going forward.

The players considered for this year’s ranking, sorted from oldest to youngest, were:

Eligible players

Player DOB Age Pos Eligible for 2023
Player DOB Age Pos Eligible for 2023
Lucas Condotta 1997-11-06 24.8 LW No
Arvid Henrikson 1998-02-23 24.5 RD No***
Michael Pezzetta 1998-03-13 24.4 LW No
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard 1999-01-06 23.6 LW Yes
Brett Stapley 1999-02-23 23.5 C Yes*
Nate Schnarr 1999-02-25 23.5 C Yes
Joël Teasdale 1999-03-11 23.4 LW Yes
Nick Suzuki 1999-08-10 23.0 C Yes
Cayden Primeau 1999-08-18 23.0 G Yes
Jack Gorniak 1999-09-15 22.9 LW Yes***
Jesse Ylönen 1999-10-03 22.9 RW Yes
Mattias Norlinder 2000-04-12 22.3 LD Yes
Cam Hillis 2000-06-24 22.1 C Yes
Jordan Harris 2000-07-07 22.1 LD Yes
Gianni Fairbrother 2000-09-30 21.9 LD Yes
Cole Caufield 2001-01-02 21.6 RW Yes
Kirby Dach 2001-01-21 21.6 C Yes
Arber Xhekaj 2001-01-30 21.5 LD Yes
Rhett Pitlick 2001-02-07 21.5 LW Yes
Frederik Dichow 2001-03-01 21.5 G Yes**
Xavier Simoneau 2001-05-19 21.2 C Yes**
Jakub Dobes 2001-05-27 21.2 G Yes
Alexander Gordin 2001-07-31 21.0 RW Yes
Jayden Struble 2001-09-08 20.9 LD Yes***
Sean Farrell 2001-11-02 20.8 LW Yes
Justin Barron 2001-11-15 20.7 RD Yes
Emil Heineman 2001-11-16 20.7 LW Yes
Petteri Nurmi 2002-01-12 20.6 LD Yes
Kaiden Guhle 2002-01-18 20.6 LD Yes
Ty Smilanic 2002-01-20 20.6 LW Yes
Miguël Tourigny 2002-02-09 20.5 RD Yes
Luke Tuch 2002-03-07 20.4 LW Yes
Blake Biondi 2002-04-24 20.3 C Yes
Jan Mysak 2002-06-24 20.1 C Yes
Jack Smith 2002-07-06 20.1 C Yes
Jared Davidson 2002-07-07 20.1 C Yes
Dmitri Kostenko 2002-09-25 19.9 RD Yes
William Trudeau 2002-10-11 19.8 LD Yes**
Joe Vrbetic 2002-10-24 19.8 G Yes**
Daniil Sobolev 2003-03-03 19.4 RD Yes
Riley Kidney 2003-03-25 19.4 C Yes
Logan Mailloux 2003-04-15 19.3 RD Yes**
Oliver Kapanen 2003-07-29 19.0 C Yes
Joshua Roy 2003-08-06 19.0 RW Yes
Adam Engström 2003-11-17 18.7 LD Yes
Emmett Croteau 2003-12-07 18.7 G Yes
Filip Mesar 2004-01-03 18.6 RW Yes
Owen Beck 2004-02-03 18.5 C Yes
Lane Hutson 2004-02-14 18.5 LD Yes
Juraj Slafkovský 2004-03-20 18.4 LW Yes
Cedrick Guindon 2004-04-21 18.3 LW Yes
Vinzenz Rohrer 2004-09-09 17.9 C Yes
Signing rights expire on: * August 15, 2022 | ** June 1, 2023 | *** August 15, 2023 Contract details via CapFriendly

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 2021-22 season, with past participants and those with poor moderation histories passed over to find our selections. Joining nine of our contributors on the voting panel are ‘black61’ and “theptbnl,” 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 over 500 responses this time around between staff and readers, so thank you to everyone who took the time to evaluate players and participate in the project.

The 11 individual panellist ballots were removed from the sample. From those that remained, I removed any ballots that had fewer than 25 players ranked, and disregarded any ranks on the remaining ballots that went beyond the number a person said they had ranked (e.g. ranks 36-52 for someone who answered “35” for the length of their list).

The result was 188 partial lists and another 306 that ranked at least 50 players for a total of 494 ballots making up the EOTP submission. Ranks for each player were averaged across all ballots that had the player in question ranked, and those averages were sorted from lowest to highest to make the community vote. Lucas Condotta was added to the ballot after many submissions had already been made and his average is only based on 197 rankings, however that was deemed enough of a sample for an accurate representation in the voting.

The same procedure of averaging the results was ultimately used to determine the 2022 order from the 12 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 it will be sent to the email address associated with your EOTP profile.

Before we begin counting down the players in this year’s series, next we’ll take a look at how the pool jumped from 41 in 2021 to 52 this year, while looking back at the histories of players who are no longer eligible for the project.