Hockey’s Future: Canadiens Top 20 prospects, Fall 2007 rankings


    (Carey Price) (Alexei Emelin)

    Habster’s take:
    Hockey’s Future writer, Jason Menard has updated the Montreal Canadiens top 20 prospects list which still ranks the Habs system as the second ranked organization in the NHL. In my opinion (for what it’s worth?), I have to admit that his ranking of the top 20 prospects are somewhat surprising to me.
    The biggest surprises are the rankings of 2007 prospects, Ryan McDonagh(#2) and Max Pacioretty(#5). How in the world do you rank these unproven players (fresh out of USHL) above more established players/prospects like Kyle Chipchura, Jaroslav Halak, Maxim Lapierre, Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan O’Byrne, Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn (to name a few!!!!). Each of these afore mentioned prospects have played well at the AHL/NHL/International/CHL levels which are more superior leagues than the USHL. Maybe the key word here is “prospects” but I would have ranked the top 20 prospects list as follows:

    1. Carey Price: he’s hands down the top prospect having won the Calder and U20 championships. Has ice water in his veins and has no technical flaws to his game.
    2. Andrei Kostitsyn: the top offensive forward in the system and ready to make the next step to the NHL. He has shown flashes of his offensive talent late last season on a line with Higgins and Plekanec.
    3. Kyle Chipchura: is NHL ready with a very solid two way game. Very smart player with leadership qualities beyond any other prospect in the system.

    4. Jaroslav Halak: after Price, Halak is the next best goaltender in the system. He was one of the reasons why the Habs were in the playoff race until the end. NHL ready as back up or starter.

    5. Mikhail Grabovski: a speedy wizard with the puck who could supply the Canadiens with an offensive spark. Acclimatized his game to the NHL and had a solid AHL season in 2006-07.

    6. Sergei Kostitsyn: has the best all-round game of any forward in the system. He can be put on the ice in any situation and will thrive at the NHL after he does some time in the AHL

    7. Maxim Lapierre: a player the Habs have been lacking in their system for years: power forward that will hit, agitate and forecheck with determination and all-out effort.

    8. Ryan O’Byrne: had a very solid AHL season and in my opinion has established himself as the top defenseman in the system as far as being NHL ready. Very solid in D-zone with some offensive elements to his game.
    9. Alexei Emelin: really established himself at the IIHF 2007 championship with Andrei Markov as his partner. After O’Byrne, he is the next NHL ready defenseman and hopefully will sign an NHL contract for next season.

    10. Ben Maxwell: a very cerebral player with a solid offensive game. Has the potential to be a top two center in the NHL. If he remains health, he will be a top 5 WHL scorer next season with Kootaney.
    11. Pavel Valentenko: I rank him ahead of Fischer and McDonagh simply because he is more NHL ready in my opinion. He has shown some flashes of offense in his game which could develop into more confidence with the puck.
    12. David Fischer: had a “feeling out” season with the University of Minnesota where he played on the 3rd pairing with some time on the powerplay. He was solid defensively but did not show much on the offensive side of the ice partly due to a lack of ice time.

    Here are the remaining 8 propects which I will comment on later:

    13. Ryan McDonagh
    14. Matt D’Agostini
    15. Max Pacioretty
    16. Mathieu Carle
    17. P.K. Subban
    18. Ryan White
    19. Mathieu Aubin
    20. Ryan Russell
    How would you rank the Canadiens top 20 prospects? Do you agree with my list or HF’s list?


    1. Hey Jiggyseb,

      Unfortunately for Yan Danis, I think HF does not consider him a prospect any more due to his age and number of years in the AHL. Danis will be entering his fourth year at the AHL level which isn’t considered a “prospect”. The Habs have too much depth in goal which is a shame because he still has a lot of potential.

    2. Yeah I think peoples forget him very fast,but he was rate higher then halak in the old listing .Plus when he plays some game he did well I think…

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