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Deadlock between two journalists over who is the best Habs prospect

Published February 3, 2022 at 3:59 PM
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Who is THE best prospect on the Montreal Canadiens' roster? There are many answers, of course.

Journalists Anthony Martineau and Nicolas Cloutier addressed the question on Jean-Charles Lajoie's show last night. Obviously, there was a major impasse between the two individuals.

Anthony Martineau was the first to speak. Fasten your hats, his choice could surprise many.

"The first guy on my list is Logan Mailloux. I can already hear people saying 'yes, but he only played six games, the sample size is too small."


"But in terms of that sample size, Logan Mailloux has been the Hab's most dominant prospect so far this year. After all, we have to base our analysis on what we see, not on what we couldn't see!"

"To go 10 months without playing hockey and then come back in the middle of a season and dominate your peers as much as that, to me, is something exceptional."

"If I look at Logan Mailloux's overall toolbox, we're talking about an extremely heavy shot player, a good skater and a guy who can hit and play defensively. But beyond all that, and this is what strikes me the most, the confidence he displays, honestly, blows me away. It's innate and can't be taught. After such a long absence, to come back and act like a 25-year-old guy playing with 17 years old, it speaks volumes about the talent of a player. Logan Mailloux is clearly my top 1."

Here's his top-5:

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For Nicolas Cloutier, there is no doubt that Kaiden Guhle is the lucky one, well before Logan Mailloux.

"That's the danger of falling in love because it doesn't make sense. In his entire career, Logan Mailloux has played 10 games in the Ontario Junior League. The sample size is far too small. Look at Kaiden Guhle, for sure he's going to play in the NHL. We don't know if he's going to play on the 1st or 2nd pair, but it's a certainty. Secondly, the reason I put Guhle ahead of Jordan Harris is basically because I see Harris as an effective 4th defenseman who will move his puck well. I think physically, especially, Guhle will have a much bigger impact in the NHL."

Here's his top-5:

image

"After that, I couldn't ignore Sean Farrell's offensive prowess as a rookie in the NCAA. He wasn't chosen by accident to represent the United States in the Olympics. I ended my ranking with Jesse Ylönen, he is very close to the NHL. He has an interesting background. I must say that I hesitated for a long time between Ylönen and Joshua Roy at the 5th spot. I finally went with a little bit more value, but Joshua Roy is certainly part of the conversation."


Jean-Charles Lajoie, the host, immediately retorted to his two young acolytes. It doesn't make sense to him that Jordan Harris isn't at the top of their respective charts.

"The point is that you have the same elements, but not in the same place. Except that neither of you have Jordan Harris, the jewel of all the players in the organization, at number one and that knocks me out a little bit, but not as much as seeing Mailloux ahead of him. Watching both players, it's night and day as far as skating is concerned. Backwards and when it's time to defend, Harris is clearly superior. Even on the bench, he can kill games and that's amazing."

Martineau then replied to JiC Lajoie with these explanations:

"I want to, but when it comes to a top prospect ranking, a record of achievement, I have no choice but to focus on the ceiling potential of players. Logan Mailloux's offensive ceiling is just that, huge, and I see it being bigger than Jordan Harris'. As for the back skating, that is something that is being refined. Confidence and offensive instinct, however, are innate. You either have it or you don't. And Mailloux has both. And I think it's unfair to say that he defends poorly. He really doesn't. I look at a guy like Guhle. He's going to be great in the NHL. But I think he's going to be a fourth defenseman. Mailloux, on the other hand, has the potential to be a first pair guy and run a massive offense."

Nicolas Cloutier also finished by defending Kaiden Guhle, reminding us that he was the "worthy heir" of Shea Weber, who was used in all sorts of ways.

"Why can't Guhle be the defenseman you use for everything and go out and neutralize the best players on the other team? Your defenseman that you would play on a 1st pair. Why would you limit him to a fourth defenseman role? I have a hard time with that. He's a worthy heir to Shea Weber. He was the captain of Team Canada. He may be the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens. I have a hard time not putting him at No. 1 right now."


One thing is for sure, the Habs has a lot of depth on the blue line in their prospect bank. It will be interesting to see who has the most impact in the NHL in a few years.
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