Acquisition by the Montreal Canadiens: the organization may have made a big move by adding the young defenseman William Trudeau

Published August 29, 2023 at 6:22 PM

If the Canadiens' lineup is almost completely already known on the eve of the next season, there could still be surprises. Training camp might indeed showcase some intense battles, and a few young prospects, whom we don't talk about enough, could make it through the entire process, creating a nice surprise.

In recent days, we've discussed two Canadiens forwards who could surprise in the upcoming season. The young Swede Lias Andersson and the Quebecer Joshua Roy will definitely be one to watch and might certainly play a few games with the main team during the next season.

At defense, while names like Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, Logan Mailloux, Justin Barron, Arber Xhekaj, and Jordan Harris will be interesting to follow, one shouldn't overlook young William Trudeau. Often overlooked in discussions, the 20-year-old defenseman has made significant strides in 2022-2023 with the Laval Rocket and is now the key defender of the organization.

The one who was ranked 16th among top U23 prospects by journalist Corey Pronman from The Athletic, he finished the last season with 7 goals, 20 assists, totaling 27 points in 60 games. These statistics indeed placed him as the team's top-scoring defenseman.

In an interview given last April, the Rocket's assistant coach, Kelly Buchberger, was highly complimentary towards the Quebecer. According to him, there's no doubt that the defenseman will play in the NHL someday.

"It's a delight to guide him. He plays with heart and intensity. He doesn't back down from anyone, and he has remarkable skills."

"He has a chance to play in the NHL someday. I have no doubts about it." - Kelly Buchberger

According to the former NHL player, one only needs to see how hungry he is to reach the next level. Seeing how hard he works, both on and off the ice, he's not worried at all.

Buchberger knows exactly what changed the game in the young man's progress. It was the injuries within the defensive squad that prompted the assistant coach to place Trudeau on the first powerplay unit.

"His introduction to the powerplay came at the right time. Our first unit elevated its performance."

"It's great for an organization to see a player his age [20 years] progress this way. His hard work was rewarded with time on the powerplay." - Kelly Buchberger

Given his contribution to both the powerplay and penalty kill units, it's clear that Trudeau will be a key player for the Rocket next season. He will undoubtedly be on the first defensive pair this season with Justin Barron on the Canadiens' farm team.

Don't forget that the Quebecer achieved all this success as one of the youngest defensemen in the league. As Corey Pronman points out, this is very promising for the future!

"Trudeau was quite good in the AHL as one of the youngest defensemen in the league. He played significant minutes for Laval on both special teams. He is very intelligent. Trudeau stays calm, holding onto the puck for an extra second and makes many difficult plays, showing genuine offensive instincts. He also has a strong shot from the blue line and poses a threat to score goals. The only issue in his game has been his mobility, which will challenge him to defend against the NHL's size and speed. That's why I see him more as a solid depth piece than a regular NHL player." - Corey Pronman

Clearly, by acquiring Trudeau in 2021, the Montreal Canadiens might have hit a home run.

August 29   |   473 answers
Acquisition by the Montreal Canadiens: the organization may have made a big move by adding the young defenseman William Trudeau

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