When the Canadiens decided to rebuild after last years dissapointing season, there were a few key players management knew would be the key to a turnaround. After a few trades and a solid draft, the rebuild was started and this year was going to be a wait and see year.
After half of a season is in the books, the Goalie position looks to be solid for the future. Frederik Andersen has taken the #1 job in Toronto and has been solid after a rough start. His numbers will garner him a solid rerate in the NEFHL for next season. If GM Munro feels like the team is still a few years away from competing, Andersen will be swapped for a younger goalie that will be ready when the team is. Keith Kinkaid is again looking like a solid backup in New Jersey, and will be going into next year as the favorite to be the backup here too.
The defense is also coming along slowly, but with Dustin Byfuglien leading the way, the rest of the defense just needs to be average to get the team back into the playoffs. Thomas Hickey, Brett Pesce, Nikita Tryamkin and Radko Gudas make a solid 2nd and 3rd pair. One more top noth D to pair with Byfugliem would bne nice, and Julius Honka looks like he could be that guy after his cup of coffee with the Stars this year. Caleb Jones, Gabriel Carlsson, Lucas Johansen and a bunch of NCAA kids give the Canadiens a lot of potential D to choose from in the upcoming years.
The forward group is lead by captain Joe Pavelski and not much else. The upcoming drafts will be focused on improving this group as outside of a couple of guys like Tyler Motte and Radek Faksa, there is not much long term youth here at the moment.