They have solid prospects coming up through the system in all different positions. In goal, they have two main prospects in Dustin Tokarski and Zachary Fucale. Tokarski was able to show case his talents last season after Carey Price was injured, and really stood up to the challenge. Having a young talent in Tokarski can take some of the pressure off of Price and allow the elite goaltender some well deserved rest on occasion. Fucale was the highest touted prospect in the 2013 draft and has proven to have the ability to step up to any challenge. Montreal managed to draft him in the second round, and knew that they had a great goalie with serious NHL potential.
Defensively, Montreal has some very high-end talent ready to start their NHL careers. Between Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn, they have talent coming out their ears. Beaulieu is known for his offensive prowess, while Tinordi for his size, and ability to play a 200-foot game. Pateryn is very solid in his own zone and has the ability to use his size to his advantage. All three will have success in the NHL and are just waiting for that chance to make the team.
Montreal was notorious for their small size at forward and were criticised heavily for it. However Montreal is changing that dynamic and over the last few seasons they have drafted bigger, stronger players with NHL level talent. Drafting players like Jacob De La Rose, Connor Crisp, Nikita Scherbak and Joonas Nattinen is starting to change the teams overall look.
The Canadiens have a solid core of young veterans gaining excellent NHL experience and crafting their game. Lars Eller, Brendan Gallager, Alex Galchenyuk and PK Subban are all proving themselves as important pieces to the Canadiens core. Last season was showcased a deep playoff run that all four took part in which is a huge asset to have moving forward as an elite team. These players are big pieces to the team, and are still developing and getting better. If they can continue their developments, these are the keys to a truly dominant Montreal team.
This offseason Marc Bergevin made some moves to eliminate some of the older players on this Canadiens roster. Moving Daniel Briere and releasing Brian Gionta opened up two slots in the Canadiens’ top six for younger, bigger, more talented players. Moving Josh Gorges allows a spot for a young defenceman to slide into the lineup and inject a new life into the top six on defence.
Although these more veteran players were released, Montreal still has some great leadership and experienced players. Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec are both players who have experienced the NHL and the pressures of playing in Montreal. These two are both big parts of Montreal’s core group of players and helping the development of the prospects.
On top of all of this, Montreal has one of the leagues best goaltenders. Carey Price has truly solidified himself as one of the elite in the net. He has the ability to win games by himself, and make saves when it counts. A huge necessity for a team to have in order to win a Stanley Cup is having an elite goalie to lead the team.
A dynasty in the NHL would be a team that is able to consistently dominate for several years in a row. Montreal has seen significant improvements over the last three years, and they are well on their way to being spoken as an elite team. They will be spoken of with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings.
It may be a bold prediction on my part, however, am I really that far off?
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