Photo: Photo: Charles Hudon is one of several offensively gifted forwards in the Montreal Canadiens system. Hudon was selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
The Montreal Canadiens spent the 2013 off-season addressing various holes in their organizational depth chart and now have good balance throughout their system. Montreal's management philosophy is to give their prospects every opportunity to seize a spot on the NHL roster. The organization is not afraid to put rookies into regular season NHL games for evaluation purposes and the approach has worked very well so far.
Photo: San Jose Sharks prospect Tomas Hertl is making the jump to the NHL in 2013-14 after spending last season in the Czech Extraliga with HC Slavia Praha (courtesy of Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Fall edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the prospects ranked 31-40. While this group is populated primarily by defensemen, the group is led by Sharks top prospect Tomas Hertl.
Photo: Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher was one of the top rookies in the NHL last season, managing 15 goals and 13 assists through 44 games. (courtesy of Jay Kopinski/Icon SMI)
The Montreal Canadiens have added quality and quantity to their talent pool over the last two years, bringing in players with good offensive skills, speed, size and physicality, but more importantly leadership and good work ethic. This could be the deepest group of prospects the Canadiens have had in their farm system for quite some time.
Photo: Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was selected 17th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. Beaulieu made his NHL debut in 2012-13, appearing in six games and recording two assists. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens surprised everyone by jumping from 15th place in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12 to second in the conference and winning their division in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season. The quick first round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Canadiens against the Ottawa Senators only confirmed to General Manager Marc Bergevin that his team is not built yet to be a yearly playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
Photo: Brady Vail and the Windsor Spitfires failed to make the playoffs in 2012-13. Vail posted 55 points in 68 regular games with Windsor. (Terry Wilson / OHL Images.)
The Montreal Canadiens prospects at the lower professional levels were unable to gain any post-season playing experience as the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) and the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) failed to qualify for their respective playoffs.