Rabid Habs

Which Habs Prospects are Ready for the NHL?

Habs' Jiri Sekac

The loss of Thomas Vanek has perhaps opened up a spot for a young player on the Habs’ roster. With the acquisition of Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, he should be paired with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk on the Habs’ second line. However, the departure of Brian Gionta leaves an open spot on the third line.

Earlier this summer, Marc Bergevin signed an unfamiliar name: Jiri Sekac. According to many Habs fans, the Czech could crack the Habs’ lineup next season. Last year, while playing in the KHL, he collected 28 points in 47 games. I don’t know Sekac’s potential yet, but I think he could surprise many fans playing with Lars Eller and Rene Bourque.

Sven Andrighetto is a right winger and that’s exactly what the Habs are missing. Last season, he was one of the best players for the Hamilton Bulldogs amassing 44 points in 64 games. Andrighetto was a third round draft pick in 2013 and he will challenge Sekac for a roster spot.

Charles Hudon played with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens and Baie-Comeau Drakkar last year. He had a strong season including 76 points in 57 games. He also competed at the World Junior Championship in Malmö, Sweden where he earned 2 points in 7 games. Hudon could be a dark horse candidate to skip the AHL and make the Canadiens’ roster.

Michael McCarron could be on the Habs’ roster next season. I know it’s hard to compare him to players like Sekac, Andrighetto and Hudon – but his size gives him an advantage. At 6’5″, 237lbs, McCarron could earn a spot with the Canadiens. Last year, he played with the London Knights and participated at the 2014 Mastercard Memorial Cup.

At defense, I think everyone shares the same thought – Nathan Beaulieu or Jarred Tinordi should be the Habs’ sixth defenseman.

Nathan Beaulieu played his junior hockey with the Saint John Sea Dogs and won a Memorial Cup. He was a first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Beaulieu played 17 regular season games in addition to 7 playoff games. I believe Beaulieu will be the Habs’ sixth defenseman next season.

Jarred Tinordi surprised many in last year’s preseason games. Unfortunately for him, the journey didn’t last long. Seeing he worked hard last season, maybe the Habs will give him another chance.

Here is my projected line-up for the 2014-15 season:

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Parenteau
Sekac – Eller – Bourque
Prust or Bournival – Malhotra – Weise

Emelin- Subban
Markov – Gilbert
Beaulieu – Weaver

Price – Budaj

(Note: Travis Moen has been excluded intentionally.)

What do you think? Who will make the jump to the NHL for the 2014-15 season?