Photo: Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu leads the Montreal Canadiens Spring Top 20. Beaulieu has spent the 2013-14 season split between the AHL and NHL. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens have a wide variety of players in their talent pool, many of whom possess a great deal of upside. There are players with offensive skills, speed, size, and physicality, as well as ones known more for their character or leadership.
Photo: Swiss forward Sven Andrighetto is one of several Montreal Canadiens prospects to miss some time to injury this season. Andrighetto is in his first year of professional hockey following two high-scoring years in the QMJHL. (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
After finishing the 2012-13 season in last place, the Hamilton Bulldogs, the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, are challenging for a playoff spot at the halfway point of the 2013-14 season.
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: 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: 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.