There you have it folks, the Montreal Canadiens have solidified their 23-men roster and they’re getting even younger. Many, myself included, are disappointed that Ryan Poehling was sent down to the AHL’s Laval Rockets but thrilled that the Canadiens decided to keep training camp standouts Nick Suzuki and Cale Fleury. According to Capfriendly.com, Montreal has $5,571,192 available in cap space and only six teams spend less than the Habs… a position rather surprising considering the market they are in. Without further ado, let’s have a closer look at the new faces sporting the Habs’ uniform, and let’s start getting to know them.
#37 – Keith Kinkaid
Date of Birth: July 4, 1989 (30)
Weight: 195 lbs
Scouting Report: Very quick laterally, he mirrors shooters well. Uses his big frame well to wall off the bottom of the net. Shows good reflexes and will make sprawling saves when out of position. Goes into his butterfly too quickly at times and can get hung out to dry by patient shooters. Too often gets caught out of position. Needs a little more work on his blocker side.
Little known fact: On Dec. 19, 2014, Kinkaid became the first goalie in NHL history to have each of his first three starts decided in a shootout.
#8 – Ben Chiarot
Date of Birth: May 9, 1991 (28)
Weight: 219 lbs
Scouting Report: Has the requisite size all National Hockey League teams need along the blueline, and he displays the ability to use it as well. Was a good point producer in the junior ranks. Still a little raw in the defensive zone, he needs to tighten up and limit his mistakes with the puck in order to maximize his big-league potential as a defensive type.
#21 – Nick Cousins
Date of Birth: July 20, 1993 (26)
Weight: 185 lbs
Scouting Report: Has plenty of abrasiveness in his game, and is always willing to stir the pot. Can also play a sound two-way game. Adds plenty of versatility to a roster. Must prove he can continue to play his rambunctious style as he climbs the ladder. Also, the jury is out on his point-producing ability at the NHL level.
#14 – Nick Suzuki
Date of Birth: August 10, 1999 (20)
Weight: 201 lbs
Position: Centre/Right Winger
Scouting Report: Plays a very heady, mature two-way game. Is a talented playmaker who is also adept at finishing off plays himself. Due to his hockey smarts, he can be used with the game on the line and in defensive situations. He is still a bit raw as an all-round talent and needs more consistency.
Notes: Suzuki was named the OHL playoffs MVP last season.
#20 – Cale Fleury
Date of Birth: November 19, 1998 (20)
Weight: 205 lbs
Scouting Report: A solid puck carrier with smooth skating abilities. Highly offensive-minded. Possesses the size to be in the NHL one day and plays with both his brain and muscles in the defensive zone. Has the potential to hope for a top-four career on a NHL’s defensive unit.
Notes: Soon after being announced as part of the team, Fleury changed his number from 83 to 20.
So ladies and gentlemen, here is your opening night line-up, based on practice:
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Domi – Suzuki
Drouin – Kotkaniemi – Armia
Byron/Cousins – Thompson – Weal
Mete – Weber
Chiarot – Petry
Kulak – Fleury
Reilly – Folin
Here’s for a successful season! Go Habs Go!
* Scouting Reports from The Sports Forecaster.