The Montreal Canadiens are in rebuild mode, but already have many key future components in place. Just look at all of the young defensemen like Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Justin Barron, Arber Xhekaj and Jonathan Kovacevic, who are already playing well at the NHL level. Add in prospects Lane Hutson and Logan Mailloux over the next year or two, and the team has the makings of an incredibly deep blue line.
Related: Canadiens Prospect Report: NCAA Class
They also have a handful of wingers who have the potential to be in the team’s top nine soon. Cole Caufield and Josh Anderson are already there, while Juraj Slafkovsky and Sean Farrell should be playing big roles in the near future. Filip Mesar and Joshua Roy look promising and represent the next wave on the wing.
Down the middle of the ice is where things are a little thin. Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach appear to have cemented big roles for the foreseeable future, but Christian Dvorak has not played well in his time with the Canadiens. A quick look at the team’s pipeline reveals there are not many center prospects ready to make the leap to the NHL any time soon. Owen Beck is a possibility, but he hasn’t really impressed after a midseason trade to the Peterborough Petes.
Kidney Climbing Canadiens Prospect Rankings
One center prospect who has been shooting up the team’s prospect rankings lately is Riley Kidney. The Enfield, Nova Scotia, native was a second-round draft pick of the Canadiens in 2021 after a short, but successful season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He scored 13 goals and 38 points in 33 regular season games, but stepped it up in the 2021 postseason, piling up 15 assists, and a couple of goals in just nine playoff games.
The incredible playmaking in the playoffs was a small sample size, but Kidney has since proven that it was no fluke. Last season, the Titan acquired Washington Capitals first-round pick Hendrix Lapierre early in the season and Felix Lafrance, who was leading the league in scoring at the time, at the trade deadline. Initially, it was thought this pair of centers would push Kidney down the depth chart a bit, but the Canadiens prospect just continued to play better and pile up points until he earned back his first-line center role.
Kidney finished his 18-year-old Junior campaign with 30 goals and a league-leading 70 assists for 100 points. The Titan had a great team on paper, but it didn’t materialize into much in the playoffs….
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