The 2021 NEFHL playoffs ended on a down note for the Montreal Canadiens, but the season as a whole was a positive. There were some ups and downs but the team is headed in the right direction. Here are some of the good and bad of the 20/21 NEFHL season.
As has been stated, Mackenzie Blackwood had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NEFHL history and should be up for multiple awards this off season. He was also able to keep most of his ratings for next season and should should be a top 10 G again next season. He will be paired with James Reimer again who saw a good increase in his ratings for next year and will be as capable backup.
After many years of AHL excellence, Carter Verhaeghe had a breakthrough NHL season and while he will start with average ratings next season, he should be able to be a solid 2nd line winger pretty quickly.
A few other rookies had solid NHL seasons and will be potential callups next season. Keegan Kolesar was on pace for a 25 point full season to go along with his high amount of hits. Noah Dobson was a regular NHL D this season and have some PP time and should keep improving. Andrew Peeke and Joel Kiviranta showed some flashes and should be good for a callup or two during the season.
Lastly, the Canadiens topped the 100 point total and made it to game 7 of round 2 before running out of gas. They made it further than most experts predicted.
Even though most of the rerates should a repeat of last seasons ratings, there was nobody that stood out as a big upgrade from last season.
No first round pick in 2021 draft and while it did help the club make the playoffs the last 2 seasons, none of the players in the deal look like long term keepers at this point.
Lastly, we blew a 3-1 series lead in round two.
There is not much cap room for moves this summer and not many holes to fill either. The rerates were good enough for the Canadiens to compete next season and give the young players one more year to develop for the future.