The Habs picked No. 1 this 12 months and their pipeline is led by that choice, Juraj Slafkovsky. After that they’ve a premium objective scorer in Cole Caufield and a few good protection prospects. How good Kirby Dach turns into or not will likely be a significant variable for this franchise as nicely.

Key graduate: Nick Suzuki

Key additions: Juraj Slafkovsky, Kirby Dach, Filip Mesar, Lane Hutson, Owen Beck

2021 rating: No. 12

2022 NHL Draft grade: A+

Full 2022-23 NHL Pipeline Rankings

Player Ranking

1. Juraj Slafkovsky, LW

18 years outdated | 6-foot-4 | 229 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 1 in 2022
Tier: Bubble NHL All-Star and prime of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Slafkovsky has all of the belongings you’re on the lookout for in a prime NHL ahead. He’s a 6-foot-4 winger who can beat opponents with pace and ability. He posseses excellent puck abilities, and might put pucks by way of legs and sticks at a really excessive charge. Slafkovsky can use finesse, or energy and quickness to get round defenders. He can even arrange and end performs nicely. Physically, he received’t run over guys however his compete is nice sufficient. He initiatives as a top-line winger with the potential to pop and turn into be a real star within the NHL.

2. Cole Caufield, LW

21 years outdated | 5-foot-7 | 170 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 15 in 2019
Tier: Top of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: High-end

Analysis: Caufield’s first half of the season was robust however he went on a tear following the teaching change within the second half. He’s considerably undersized by NHL requirements and doesn’t have nice pace however all the things else about his sport pops. Caufield has super fingers. He’s very shifty and exhausting to hit. He sees the ice nicely and naturally has a high-end shot that may decide corners from distance. He seems to be like he’ll be a legit top-line/30-goal sort for some time.

3. Kirby Dach, C

21 years outdated | 6-foot-4 | 197 kilos | Shoots proper

Acquired through commerce
Tier: Top of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Below NHL common

Analysis: Dach had a troublesome third NHL season, which ended with him being shipped to Montreal from Chicago on the draft. Dach is an inconsistent participant, however there may be nonetheless a ton to love about his sport. As a 6-foot-4 heart who can skate, deal with the puck and go the puck at an NHL stage he seems to be like a man who’s going to discover a option to rating within the league for a very long time. His effort isn’t superb, however he killed penalties this season and I don’t thoughts his compete total. He simply could by no means be this big-time scorer, however even when he’s not I see a future glorious top-six heart, and presumably even a low-end No. 1.

4. Kaiden Guhle, D

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 200 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 16 in 2020
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: High-end
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Guhle isn’t a defenseman who’s ever going to wow you with scoring and ability, however he’s very tough to play in opposition to for opposing forwards. He is an enormous, cell defender who punishes opponents bodily. His hole management is excessive finish, eliminating so many forwards along with his physique. He initiatives to play robust minutes within the NHL. He has some puck-moving capability and a tough level shot however it’s nothing particular. I feel even when he doesn’t deliver a lot offense he’s a second-pair defenseman. If he can transfer the puck at even a median NHL stage he may play larger in a lineup.

5. Justin Barron, D

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 195 kilos | Shoots proper

Acquired through commerce
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Barron is a tall, right-handed shot who is a wonderful skater. He’s not a dynamo with the puck and never a power-play man within the NHL on a very good group, however he could make a stable first go and initiatives to have the ability to transfer pucks competently within the NHL. With his skating, he can play in opposition to good gamers and be an enormous consider transition. He has a stable probability to turn into a high quality top-four defenseman within the NHL.

6. Lane Hutson, D

18 years outdated | 5-foot-8 | 158 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 62 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: High-end
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Hutson is a continuing risk with the puck on his stick. He was the neatest participant in his draft. He makes so many seam passes to generate probabilities. Hutson can be a highly-skilled puckhandler who reveals nice creativity off the offensive blue line. He makes quite a lot of artful fakes and dekes to evade stress. He’s not the quickest skater, however his edgework is sort of good and permits him to make use of his skating to assault. The offense is obvious NHL high quality. Whether a close to 5-foot-9 defenseman who isn’t an elite skater can defend within the NHL is the query with Hutson. He’s a aggressive, high quality defender versus juniors and faculty opponents, however that can should be a take a look at he’ll have to clear down the road. I feel he performs within the NHL, and initiatives as an offensive-tilted top-four defenseman, however I notice the chances are in opposition to a participant who seems to be like him changing into that. I stamp him this excessive as a result of he was the neatest participant in his draft and I see simply sufficient to the remainder of his sport to have the ability to elevate at larger ranges.

7. Joshua Roy, LW

18 years outdated | 6 ft | 190 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 150 in 2021
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Roy had an enormous season, main the QMJHL in scoring and incomes a U20 December camp invite to Team Canada after being a fifth-round decide the prior summer season. Roy could be very harmful with the puck on his stick. He has slick one-on-one skills, however excels at making performs as a consequence of his nice creativity and imaginative and prescient. He’s a objective scorer who can beat goalies from the dots. He dropped to the fifth spherical as a consequence of his skating and perimeter play. I preferred the compete extra this season, however whether or not the, at occasions, low-energy method he performs interprets to the NHL remains to be an open query till he goes to a greater stage. I feel he’s an NHL participant with the power to be a legit middle-six winger if he hits.

8. Filip Mesar, RW

18 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 174 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 26 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Mesar’s sport is outlined by pace and tempo. He’s one of many higher skaters on this draft, with the power to dissipate the impartial zone to create clear entries with pace. He has good ability and playmaking capability, and reveals he could make robust performs with the puck with tempo. Mesar lacks measurement at 5-foot-10 and isn’t a very bodily participant. His compete is nice sufficient for me however in all probability not the place you need for an undersized participant. I feel along with his pace, ability and scoring capability he can carve out a profession as a top-nine winger although.

9. Miguel Tourigny, D

20 years outdated | 5-foot-8 | 168 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 216 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Tourigny is a dynamic participant. His skating pops, with the top-end pace to beat checkers broad and lead a rush in transition. He’s an elusive skater with good edgework and could be very exhausting to verify on retrievals, regardless of his diminutive body. He’s a really sensible puck-mover who could make robust, expert performs with tempo and from a standstill, displaying capability to hit seams from the offensive blue line. Tourigny is a superb passer, but additionally has a fantastic shot as evidenced by his objective totals the final two seasons. The one apparent disadvantage is his body — he’s a tiny defenseman by NHL requirements at 5-foot-8. He competes nicely and defends nicely sufficient in junior however whether or not he can take an everyday NHL shift is the query. He’s so proficient, and the skating is so good I feel he has an excellent probability to play video games and assist a corporation, however I can’t simply but stamp him as a man who’s going to have a respectable NHL profession.

10. Jan Mysak, C

19 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 175 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 48 in 2020
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Mysak didn’t have a very productive OHL season however he was an essential participant for a prime CHL membership. Mysak doesn’t have unbelievable offensive capability, however he brings quite a lot of pace and energy to shifts. He initiatives to show NHL defenders round and have the ability to get to the online versus males. He’s bought sufficient ability and imaginative and prescient to supply secondary offense and maintain his personal with the puck. He initiatives as a bottom-six ahead. If he stays down the center it’s seemingly as a 4C.

11. Jordan Harris, D

21 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 179 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 71 in 2018
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Harris is a stable two-way defenseman. He isn’t a spectacular sort of participant, however he’s a powerful skater who can transfer the puck like a professional. His first go is superb and he reveals poise and creativity within the offensive finish of the rink. He lacks the scale you need in an NHL defender, however Harris works exhausting sufficient off the puck and might use his skating to shut gaps. He initiatives as a third-pair defenseman.

12. Owen Beck, C

18 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 187 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 33 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Beck brings an intriguing quantity of pace and ability to his shifts. He has NHL-level skating, and is ready to make highly-skilled performs by way of checks at full pace. He reveals the power to have the ability to arrange his teammates nicely whereas additionally having the ability to end in tight or from the circles. Beck isn’t the largest ahead, however he competes nicely, can PK and doesn’t shy from getting inside through the use of his pace. He initiatives as a bottom-six ahead, seemingly on the wing.

13. Mattias Norlinder, D

22 years outdated | 6 ft | 185 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 64 in 2019
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Norlinder is a proficient defenseman with the skating, ability and shot to create offense as a professional. He didn’t rating a lot this season although which is a priority particularly when he doesn’t add that a lot defensively. I feel he’ll bounce again and be higher subsequent season and I can see him getting some NHL video games, however he’ll want to point out what function he can play, precisely, on an NHL group.

14. Riley Kidney, C

19 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 168 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 63 in 2021
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Below NHL common

Analysis: Kidney scored 100 factors within the QMJHL this season taking part in all conditions for Bathurst. He’s a powerful skater who is very expert as a handler and passer. Kidney can create offense with tempo and create across the exhausting areas of the ice. He’s not the largest man and he lacks a final touch so I’m wondering what his NHL function will likely be, however I can see him get some video games.

15. Sean Farrell, LW

20 years outdated | 5-foot-8 | 175 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 124 in 2020
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Farrell is a extremely robust analysis case. He’s an undersized ahead who skates effective however lacks rink-length pace. He has excellent offensive abilities however I wouldn’t name his puck sport or playmaking excessive finish. Despite all that, Farrell has discovered a option to persistently take advantage of that ability set. Part of it is because of how exhausting he works, and I’ll honestly be underselling his mind a bit too. Everywhere he goes he scores and coaches belief him in numerous conditions, so I may purchase him having an actual shot to be a bottom-six winger with an opportunity at extra.

Has an opportunity to play (listed alphabetically)

Blake Biondi, RW

20 years outdated | 6 ft | 191 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 109 in 2020

Analysis: Biondi took some constructive steps this season as a sophomore. He’s a talented ahead with good hockey sense, however his skating is simply OK.

Jakub Dobes, G

21 years outdated | 6-foot-4 | 200 kilos | Catches left

Drafted: No. 136 in 2020

Analysis: Dobes had an enormous season, being one of many prime goaltenders in faculty. Dobes’ body is intriguing for his professional projection. He reads the sport nicely and doesn’t shy from taking part in aggressively. His lateral motion isn’t the very best, so how he handles the pace of upper ranges will likely be his predominant problem.

Adam Engstrom, D

18 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 185 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 92 in 2022

Analysis: Engstrom has quite a lot of qualities that make him an attention-grabbing NHL prospect. He’s a 6-foot-2, fluid, highly effective skater that may transition pucks up ice and shut nicely on oncoming forwards. Offensively, he doesn’t stand out, however he could make an honest outlet go and has a tough level shot. Whether he excels sufficient at both finish of the rink to carve out an NHL function is the talk with Engstrom, however his toolkit provides him an opportunity.

Cedric Guindon, LW

18 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 170 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 127 in 2022

Analysis: Guindon is an excellent skater. He’s sturdy in transition as a consequence of his pace and ability and has a very good shot as nicely. He lacks very best NHL measurement, although, and whereas he has some offense he’s not a real driver of play along with his ability and playmaking. What his NHL function could be is questionable however the expertise is intriguing sufficient.

Emil Heineman, LW

20 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 185 kilos | Shoots left

Acquired through commerce

Analysis: Heineman is a powerful skater with a very good shot and an honest body. He has some capability with the puck, however whether or not the ability/sense are sturdy sufficient to make performs within the NHL is the talk along with his sport.

Oliver Kapanen, C

18 years outdated | 6’1″ | 182 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 64 in 2021

Analysis: Kapanen bounced round between numerous ranges and golf equipment this season, however when he performed I noticed a talented, sensible ahead who may contribute at each ends of the rink and play heart nicely. His skating is simply OK although and will likely be his predominant take a look at at larger ranges.

Dmitri Kostenko, D

19 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 187 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 87 in 2021

Analysis: Kostenko is a decent-sized defenseman with good puck abilities and offensive instincts who competes exhausting sufficient. His skating is simply OK although and could be the one space that would hold him from the NHL.

Logan Mailloux, D

19 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 214 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 31 in 2021

Analysis: Mailloux was suspended for half the season following his conviction in a Swedish courtroom for taking a photograph of a lady performing a intercourse act with out her consent and circulating it amongst some teammates. He was then injured for a stretch of the season. When taking part in, Mailloux confirmed the toolkit of a tall right-shot defenseman with nice ability, imaginative and prescient and an enormous shot. He performs exhausting, however his skating is simply OK. He has top-four defenseman potential, however there are nonetheless some questions on his projection and whether or not Montreal will finally signal him.

Frederik Nissen Dichow, G

21 years outdated | 6-foot-5 | 192 kilos | Catches proper

Drafted: No. 138 in 2019

Analysis: Dichow had a fantastic season, main the Allsvenskan in save share. He’s an enormous right-glove goaltender who is sensible and environment friendly in internet, taking over massive swaths of the objective with out shifting a lot. He has a heavy lower-half although when it comes to attending to robust lateral performs.

Vinzenz Rohrer, C

18 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 167 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 75 in 2022

Analysis: Rohrer is a really expert and clever ahead. He has the slick fingers to beat defenders at a excessive charge. He reveals nice imaginative and prescient to search out seams and create off the perimeter. Rohrer isn’t that large and received’t run guys over, however he works exhausting off the puck. His skating, particularly for his measurement, may use a number of additional steps for the professionals however he’s not gradual. It’s why it’s exhausting to fit him onto an NHL group as of now, however his ability provides him an opportunity.

Ty Smilanic, C

20 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 175 kilos | Shoots left

Acquired through commerce

Analysis: Smilanic has the look of an NHL participant. He skates fairly nicely, has nice one-on-one abilities, can shoot it and has an honest body. His effort might be inconsistent although and I’m not offered on how nicely he sees the ice both.

Jayden Struble, D

20 years outdated | 6 ft | 205 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 46 in 2019

Analysis: Struble is a cell, bodily defenseman, however whether or not he can transfer pucks nicely sufficient as a professional is an open query.

William Trudeau, D

19 years outdated | 6 ft | 190 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 113 in 2021

Analysis: Trudeau is spectacular contained in the offensive zone as a consequence of nice imaginative and prescient and a tough level shot. He could make quite a lot of performs with the puck, however as a consequence of his so-so skating whether or not he can play with out the puck as a professional is the large debate on his sport.

Luke Tuch, LW

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 203 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 47 in 2020

Analysis: Tuch is a big-body winger who competes nicely. He has some offensive ability, however his fingers and sense received’t blow you away and his skating is simply OK.

Jesse Ylönen, RW

22 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 168 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 35 in 2018

Analysis: Ylönen has a transparent NHL toolkit. He’s a superb skater, he has legit offensive ability and scoring capability. On his finest shift he seems to be like a participant, however these finest shifts are fairly inconsistent and he can play an excessive amount of on the perimeter.


Player Eligibility: All skaters who’re 22 years outdated or youthful as of Sept. 15, 2022, no matter what number of NHL video games they’ve performed, are eligible. Player heights and weights are taken from the NHL.

Tool grades: Tool grades are based mostly on a scale with six separate ranges, with a watch towards how this attribute would grade within the NHL (poor, below-average, common, above-average, high-end and elite). “Average” on this scale means the device initiatives as NHL common, which is supposed as a constructive, not a criticism. Skating, puck abilities, hockey sense and compete for each projected NHL participant are graded. Shot grades are solely included if a shot is notably good or poor.

Tier Definitions: Tiers are supposed to present roughly the place in a median NHL lineup a participant initiatives to fit in.

(Illustration: Wes McCabe / The Athletic; photograph of Juraj Slafkovsky: David Kirouac / Icon Sportswire through Getty Images)



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