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July 1st has passed, and with it, the hope of seeing a new top-six forward fuse himself to the Habs’ top lines.

It would be easy to resign ourselves to the idea that the Canadiens are heading for another draft lottery year in 2025 without immediate scoring help unless players like Josh Anderson or Joel Armia see a resurgence.

Like you, I was hoping for a new addition and groaned when I heard Jonathan Marchessault announce that the Habs were a close second in signing him. Yes, I hoped, and like every Montrealer, wished that either he or David Perron would finish their careers in the Bleu Blanc Rouge (and not just as advisors to the General Manager, like Martin Lapointe or Vincent Lecavalier).

Alas, here we are, trying not to grit our teeth while celebrating the extension of Juraj Slafkovsky and eagerly awaiting the smaller ice debut of potential phenom forward Demi-God… Ahem … Ivan Demidov. Oh please, hockey gods, let him be as good as some say—comparable to the most exciting forward since Guylexei Kovalfleur.

But let’s talk about a different signing: Alex Barre-Boulet. Imagine the excitement as TVA and RDS crews celebrate each goal with “un Boulet de Barre-Boulet, WOW.”

I’m personally thrilled to see the Montmagny native join the Habs. Don’t underestimate the skill set of this undrafted player, whose last season in junior I had the pleasure of witnessing in Blainville under Joel Bouchard’s stewardship.

Yes, yes, he’s on the smaller side and will likely play alongside Christian Dvorak or Jake Evans, but there’s more to this young man than meets the eye. Just a year ago, Barre-Boulet impressed at Tampa’s training camp. Although I lost track of him, I was pleased to read Jack Pallotta’s reports for Last Word on Sports. Pallotta highlighted Barre-Boulet’s supreme work ethic and offensive potential, which were only hampered by Tampa’s difficulty in finding a spot for him in their stacked lineup.

What are Barre-Boulet’s strengths? His intuitive understanding of power plays and his knack for finding the right spots on the ice. Finishing passing plays and knowing when to skate to the crease are common features of his highlights. He’s proven his ability to read plays from elite players like Nikita Kucherov and score with speed, accuracy, and finesse (well, at least consistently at the AHL level)—something the Habs support players have lacked since Paul Byron left.

One thing is for sure: don’t dismiss Barre-Boulet as mere Laval fodder. If he gets the right opportunities in Montreal, this is a young man who could make a significant impact.

Here’s to hoping!

PS – Some of you have reached out to me asking if I can be followed on any social media platform, please, I encourage you to sign up for HabsWorld’s forum where I will be contributing to the wonderful community there starting this fall. It’s the best place to discuss hockey in a healthy environment.