Development camp: Five of the top six prospects on the blue line won't play this week

Arber Xhekaj or Jordan Harris to start the season in Montreal?

At the moment, there are four defenders who have confirmed positions with the Canadiens. We’re obviously talking about David Savard, Mike Matheson, Joel Edmundson and Chris Wideman. Obviously, Wideman can serve as a sixth or seventh defender. The others are normal. Therefore, there are three places available, including one reserve. We may add a slot at the start of the season, depending on Joel Edmundson’s injury.

Will the CH go to the youth? It’s not so obvious. One thing is certain though, some youngsters look better than others right now.

For these three (or four) places, there are still 7 defenders in the CH field. This is without taking into account the fact that the CH currently has priority on resignations and could very well claim a defender during the last cuts before the season. For now, Kaiden Guhle seems to be one step ahead of the pack. Even I, who prefer to watch youngsters play in the American League and develop slowly, think Guhle has earned his job.

Otherwise, however, it is very tight. And you don’t want to keep a kid on top of it so they don’t play. So it’s entirely possible to see Schueneman staying in the NHL as an insurance policy.

So there is one position left. In the best case scenario, as Jason Pominville said before Martin Lemay’s microphone on BPM Sports, the CH would claim someone on waivers. Thus, all the youngsters (except Guhle) can go play in Laval, a little further from the spotlight. If not, many talk about Arber Xhekaj. For me, it would not be a good idea to keep him on top, even if he knows a good side. Yes, he has a style of play that translates well from junior to NHL, but I still believe a young man like him who has never been drafted shouldn’t cut corners.

Then we have Justin Barron, who doesn’t know the best camps. I love watching him skate with the puck and he’s capable of supporting the offense well, but I’m not convinced his defensive game is on point for him yet. Obviously, with Edmundson out, he could get some playing time early in the season, but I’m not convinced it’s sustainable in the long run.

As for Mattias Norlinder, we forget him for the time being.

That leaves Jordan Harris. He is a bit older than the others, which gives him a good advantage in my eyes. He also seems a bit calmer on the track than either Barron or Norlinder. If Edmundson is left out, I think Harris would be a good option in Montreal. He has a bit of experience, he didn’t do poorly at the end of the season last year and I would trust him more defensively than the other youngsters (apart from Xhekaj). And that would leave Barron, Norlinder and Xhekaj to develop at Laval playing big minutes.

And as for Madison Bowey and Otto Leskinen, I’d rather have a youngster as the sixth defender than any of them. I wouldn’t be against the idea of ​​keeping them in Montreal to put them in the stands, but that’s about it.

A lot of

– Excellent.

– It’s been great so far.

– The CH should be interested in it.

– Absolutely.

– Signing in Seattle.


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