Montreal Canadiens Prospect Report
As the real NHL season winds down, so does the fantasy hockey season. So for all those without a ticket to the playoffs, all eyes are onto the off-season. Well, if you’re wondering who to keep and who may be expandable, who to draft and who to target, we got you covered!
Today we’ll start with the NHL’s worst team since December, the free-falling Montreal Canadiens who always seem to reach a new low. Injury after injury, loss after loss, new faces have been in and out of the lineup more often than at your local precinct.
Lucas Lessio was acquired earlier this season in a trade that sent Christian Thomas to the Arizona Coyotes. Neither prospect had yet to live up to their high potential, so a change of scenery was necessary in hopes of righting the ship.
Lessio scored his first goal as a Montreal Canadiens on March 22 when he netted the game-winner against the Ducks at the Bell Centre. Other than a few games as a healthy scratch due to the ever-turning Habs roster, Lessio has been a mainstay on the fourth line bringing his size, speed and energy to each shift. What Lessio brings in terms of work ethic and character is something the Canadiens were deeply lacking all season, and with this part of the season essentially being training camp for next year, Lessio is fighting for a permanent spot with the Habs. I personally think the fit is great and he should play the majority of the games next year for Montreal, albeit on the fourth line.
While there haven’t been many positives this season for the Habs, Sven Andrighetto might just be the exception. He’s quietly put together another solid year (13 points/37 games) for the Canadiens while again dominating the AHL (26 games/23 points).
He is out with an upper-body injury at the moment, but strung together a three-game span with four assists prior to exiting the lineup. Presumably sustained against the Senators from a crunching open-ice hit by Dion Phaneuf. At the time he was skating on the top line next to Alex Galchenyuk (the league’s leading scorer since Feb 24) and Max Pacioretty (playing his best hockey of the season).
His quickness and more importantly, his natural playmaking ability make him a valued asset in an organization sorely lacking such abilities. It looks like “Ghetto” has a spot amongst the Canadiens top 12 forwards next season, and very possibly the top six.
He is on the verge of full-time play, the Habs can only get better and he is not a household name yet. Andrighetto would be a major “value” target of mine this fantasy hockey off-season.