At forward, if we take into account that Jiri Sekac has all but officially made the team, the Habs currently have 14 forwards slated to begin with the season in the NHL following the departure of veterans Brian Gionta, George Parros and Tomas Vanek, among others.
On defense, the team's top five is settled, with Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi battling for the sixth and last regular spot. Unless the Canadiens decide to sign veteran Francis Bouillon as an insurance policy, there won't be any surprise on the back end either. Currently in the lead, Beaulieu is expected to begin the season in the top-6, relegating journeyman Davis Drewiske to a reserve role as it should be. As you know veterans Josh Gorges (Buffalo) and Douglas Murray (UFA) will not be back this season with the team.
The biggest question mark right now is in net as we still don't know who will be Carey Price's back-up. So far, Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski have both played well in pre-season so it might comes down to whoever is the less likely to be claimed off waivers that will head to the AHL, while the winner has the chance to back-up Price.
Habs Depth chart:
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
Rene Bourque Tomas Plekanec Jiri Sekac
Alex Galchenyuk Lars Eller Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust Manny Malhotra Dale Weise
Extras: Travis Moen, Michael Bournival
Andrei Markov Tom Gilbert
Alexei Emelin P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu Mike Weaver
Extras: Davis Drewiske
Dustin Tokarski/Peter Budaj
With the arrival of new prospects, transitioning from Europe and the CHL, Hamilton will be much more competitive than last season. The team should be able to leave the basement of the AHL unless head coach Sylvain Lefebvre continue to be stubborn and hinder the players' development.
Bulldogs Depth chart:
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jacob de la Rose T.J. Hensick Christian Thomas
Tim Bozon Gabriel Dumont Sven Andrighetto
Nick Sorkin Charles Hudon Patrick Holland
Connor Crisp Jake Dowell Jack Nevins
Extras: Stefan Fournier, Daniel Carr, Maxim Macenauer
Jarred Tinordi Greg Pateryn
Mac Bennett Darren Dietz
Joe Finley Dalton Thrower
Extras: Bobby Shea, Morgan Ellis, Magnus Nygren (Back to Sweden?)
Peter Budaj/Dustin Tokarsi
Mike Condon (if Budaj or Tokarski is claimed off waivers or traded)
I don't expect the Canadiens to sign defenseman Francis Bouillon and forward Drayson Bowman, who are both attending the camp on professional try-out.
I hope the above gives you a bigger picture of the organization's depth chart and shows you that the team is making every effort to rebuild its pool of quality prospects through the draft and the free agency.
Follow me on Twitter @FredPoulin98 if you want to talk puck and Habs.