The Habs concluded their 2023 rookie tournament with a 2-1 record following a 2-1 victory over Ottawa on Monday. Here are some observations on some of the prospects that participated in the event.
Logan Mailloux: He was arguably the prospect with the most intrigue coming into this. It wasn’t pretty early but he got better as the tournament went on. (Jayden Struble deserves a lot of credit for that as being the stabilizer on the pairing; that could be an interesting duo in Laval.) His raw offensive skills stand out, as does his mobility and willingness to jump into the rush. The defensive skills? Well, that’s another story. That needs a lot of work and it’s not going to come from jumping to the NHL right away.
David Reinbacher: First off, this was not the type of event that highlights his strengths. The play was sloppy and with a lack of chemistry, some of his instincts weren’t really noticeable simply because they weren’t needed. I noticed a willingness to take an extra split-second to make the right read which is encouraging for a Montreal back end that’s going to be encouraged to do a whole lot of that down the road. Nothing flashy but he’s not exactly a flashy player.
William Trudeau: He’s someone that I thought was more of a depth AHLer about a year and a half ago. I didn’t see anything too special. Then he went and had a good year in Laval, playing in all situations. He looked quicker in his two games than he did last year and his poise and two-way play stood out in a set of games that didn’t have much of either one.
Miguel Tourigny: His offensive game is certainly AHL-ready and a year of playing professionally in Slovakia certainly helped his defensive awareness although that still needs some work. He’s the type of player who will get you more goals but it’ll be about not giving as many back at the other end. I’m curious to see if he winds up in Laval in a limited role or starts in the ECHL where playing time will be easier to come by.
Owen Beck: There wasn’t a lot of offensive ‘pop’, so to speak. The fundamentals were there which made him a useful piece, no doubt, but in a setting where he should have been one of the more promising offensive players, I didn’t see too much of that. That’s what his final year of junior should be about, polishing up that side of things.
Sean Farrell: He’s the type of player that fits well with other talented players, not necessarily one to up the skill level of a line. Those players generally don’t do well in this tourney. I was hoping to see him be more assertive. There were a couple of flashes but otherwise, he was rather quiet.
Filip Mesar: His first game wasn’t great but after being shifted to the middle for the other two, there was a noticeable improvement. He was strong at the faceoff dot and showed some creativity late in the game against Ottawa. Assuming he starts in Laval, it’ll be interesting to see if he stays down the middle or if they try to take some pressure off him by keeping him on the wing.
Jan Mysak: One of only a handful of Laval regulars to play in this event, Mysak found himself fairly low on the depth chart but made the most of it. Fundamentally strong play stands out in a tournament like this where there isn’t much of it and he was rewarded for his efforts with a pair of goals. He seems a bit quicker than a year ago as well. I still don’t see him getting big minutes with the Rocket but perhaps time on the third line could be doable for him which would be a step-up.
Joshua Roy: We end on a high note as Roy stood out amongst Montreal’s forward group which wasn’t exactly strong in the firepower department. In particular, like Reinbacher, he played with poise which was encouraging to see as that should translate well when he gets a chance to play with better players in training camp and in the preseason. A trendy pick to be a newcomer that pushes for a roster spot in camp, I wouldn’t have him in that category but I wouldn’t put it past him either.
(Links go to YouTube where the games can be re-watched.)