HabsWorld.net -- 

With Montreal’s rookie games set to get underway next week, the team revealed on Friday the 27 players that will be taking part in the tournament in Buffalo.  The participating players are:


Owen Beck, Jared Davidson^, Isaac Dufort*, Sean Farrell, Cedrick Guindon, Emil Heineman, Riley Kidney, Riley McKay^, Filip Mesar, Jan Mysak, Jakov Novak^, Joshua Roy, Xavier Simoneau, Ty Smilanic, Florian Xhekaj


Stanislav Demin*, Noah Laaouan^, Logan Mailloux, Christopher Ortiz^, John Parker-Jones^, David Reinbacher, Jayden Struble, Miguel Tourigny^, William Trudeau


Jakub Dobes, Quentin Miller, Jan Spunar*

^-signed to an AHL contract

Up front, the most interesting inclusion is Smilanic.  Most NCAA players don’t participate in this event; the Habs rarely have a college-bound player suiting up.  (Joe Stejskal comes to mind as one who did but that was back in 2009 and 2010; he signed in the 2010-11 season.)

However, Marc-Antoine Godin of Radio-Canada reports that Smilanic is no longer an NCAA player.  Instead, he has decided not to return to college for next season and instead intends to turn pro.  He’ll try to earn an entry-level deal but at this point, the likeliest outcome is that he gets an AHL agreement with the hopes of landing an NHL contract after that.  (Davidson and Tourigny are already in that situation for this season.)

Among the tryouts, Dufour returns after participating in Development Camp back in July.  He had 41 points in 61 games with Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL last season.  Dufour is eligible for an overage year at that level but could also turn pro so he’ll be looking for an AHL deal from the Habs.

Demin, meanwhile, is a former fourth-round pick of Vegas back in 2018 but went unsigned.  He played his bonus NCAA campaign last season at Merrimack, putting up a career-best 13 assists and 16 points.  With his college career now over, he’ll be hoping for an AHL or ECHL deal.

As for Spunar, he fits the definition of a filler player.  He is too young to go to the minors and went undrafted back in June after playing 31 games with WHL Portland.  The only contract he can earn is an entry-level deal and after the Habs drafted three goalies, it’d be a bit surprising to see them sign another one.

There are obviously plenty of names missing, the majority of those being college-bound or international players.  With the latter, Reinbacher is the exception as he was recently recalled from his loan to the Swiss League where he was playing in the preseason.

Among those where it’s a small surprise that they’re not there are defenceman Daniil Sobolev and goalie Joe Vrbetic.  Sobolev, who now is with OHL Niagara following a recent trade, missed camp last year for visa reasons so I thought they may have tried to get him out for this one.  On the other hand, he needs to lock down a spot with the IceDogs so perhaps that’s his priority.  As for Vrbetic, he remains property of the Habs and doesn’t have a place to play for next season so getting him as an extra body in camp would have made some sense in theory.

The tournament the Canadiens will be participating in also includes five other teams: Buffalo, Boston, New Jersey, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh.  Montreal’s schedule for the tournament is as follows:

Friday, September 15: vs. Buffalo
Saturday, September 16: Boston
Monday, September 18: Ottawa