Canadiens Prospects receive high praise from NHL analysts

Montreal Canadiens
Written by admin

The Montreal Canadiens have some promising prospects, and NHL analyst Craig Button believes three are destined for big things in the NHL.

In an interview with Montreal Hockey Now, TSN’s Craig Button took some time to review the development of prospects like Joshua Roy, Owen Beck and Lane Hutson.

In his estimation, all three were top talents to focus on in the Canadiens’ prospect pool; as their development has been remarkable over the past 12 months.

Smile Sniper Beauceron

Joshua Roy has been on a tremendously steep progression curve since being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 5th round of the 2021 NHL Draft.

He went from a mid-round long shot, to a can’t-miss Canadiens prospect within months due to his attention to detail and high-end Hockey IQ.

His growth as a player allowed him to not only crack Team Canada’s world junior roster twice in a matter of months, but also helped him become a key member of two different gold medal teams.

“He wasn’t just a player in this 2023 gold medal team; he was a key figure in so many different areas of the game,” Button said of Roy’s performances at the World Juniors this holiday season. “So when you talk about Joshua’s development; we know that he’s a talented offensive player; there are so many things he can do in a game to help your team win.”

In Button’s estimation, Roy doesn’t have much to learn in junior. In fact, he believes the leading scorer in the 2021-2022 QMJHL has developed aspects of his game that make him one of the top prospects currently outside the NHL.

“You think about the development he’s made in six months; the progress he’s made has really put him in a position to be one of the very best drafted players outside of the NHL,” Button said of Roy’s rapid development since the summer of 2021. “You think about a 5th round pick now. spot, become such a player and regarded that way; that says a lot about Joshua. For me, he’s going to be a really good play for many years for the Montreal Canadiens.”

With Roy currently playing out the final months of his QMJHL career as his Sherbrooke Phoenix battle for a President’s Cup title; the experience he gains will only serve him better at the pro level.

Big Time Beck

Scouting reports on Owen Beck by the 2022 NHL draft, everyone had “solid, two-center” written all over them.

Due to adequate, but not spectacular, offensive production during his draft year, which was also his rookie season in the OHL, Beck found himself selected outside of the first round by the Montreal Canadiens.

But, in Button’s estimation, it was simply a rare matter of circumstance brought on by the lingering effects the Covid-19 pandemic had on the OHL in 2020 and 2021.

“I never thought Owen was going to be just a control center, I always thought he was going to be a good two-way center man,” Button said of his view of Beck. “I think what you see in the OHL is what you’re likely to see in the NHL with Owen. You’re going to see somebody come in, play really well without the puck and not do a lot of offense; but then it’s going to progress when he becomes more comfortable.

After a strong start to the season where he had 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in just 30 games, Beck was an emergency for Team Canada after an early injury.

Not only did Beck get some playing time, but he also took a regular spot on Canada’s fourth line and made a difference in every game he played.

Upon his return to the Mississauga Steelheads, Beck was shockingly traded to the Peterberough Petes, but it seems the trade was only shocking to those who don’t see the writing on the wall.

“(Mississauga Steelheads general manager) James Richmond probably thinks the chances of getting him back next year aren’t high,” Button said of the reasoning behind Owen Beck being traded in the OHL at 18. “That says a lot about Owen.”

Whether Owen Beck makes the Canadiens out of camp next fall is a debate long down the road.

That being said, the fact that a second-round pick can improve to the point where his OHL coaches are already projecting his immediate future in the NHL is an excellent sign that he is well ahead of schedule.

Own Hutson

Arguably the most exciting prospect in the Montreal Canadiens prospect pool, Lane Hutson just continues to defy the odds and prove he is much more than your typical late second round pick.

In 21 games this season for Boston University, Hutson has eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points in just 21 games; an impressive feat for any defenseman, let alone a rookie.

For Button, this is more of the same for a player he believes had the talent to be selected far higher than 62nd overall.

“Before the World Junior tournament, I previewed a few prospects and Lane was one of them. I’ve seen Lane play since he was 16 years old and all he does at every level is meet each subsequent demand. Whatever the next challenge is, he meets that,” Button said of his observations of Lane Hutson. “If Lane Hutson was 5’11, he would have been in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick. There’s no question about that.”

Being 5’9, the path forward has never been easy for Hutson, as defensemen his size are quite rare in the NHL.

That said, Hutson has always been about defying the odds and rising to the challenge in front of him.

“Everything Lane Hutson does when he plays is show how superior he is to the competition. He played U-18 when he was an U-17, he was on the junior team at 18, he’s been one of the best defenders in the entire NCAA as a freshman “, Button said of Hutson’s resilience. “I don’t think anyone questioned his talent, but you know, the smaller player has to keep proving himself. Well, Lane continues to prove himself time and time again.”

It may be early to see him make the jump to the NHL just yet, as he may likely need an extra year of conditioning before venturing to the pro game.

That said, when he eventually makes the jump, you can expect Hutson to rise to the challenge, as he always has.

Here’s the full segment below:

*Apologies to Boston University fans and staff for the mix-up

#Canadiens #Prospects #receive #high #praise #NHL #analysts

About the author


Leave a Comment