With the Montreal Canadiens in the process of rebuilding, it’s only natural that we keep a close eye on the performances of various prospects in the organization.
Whether directly in the NHL in Montreal, in the American League in Laval or anywhere else, whether in the junior leagues or in Europe, it is exciting to follow the prospects.
Obviously, some are more talked about than others and are therefore more valued by the organization and the fans.
Hutson, Roy, Mailloux, Reinbacher and the Butcher of this world take up a lot of space when talking about CH prospects, but that doesn’t mean other prospects don’t have a right to their moment of glory.
Indeed, there are several other young players who deserve attention this season, and one of them is Florian Xhekaj.
Basically, the pick of Sheriff Arber’s little brother in the fourth round was heavily criticized.
Various analysts and fans around the NHL argued that Xhekaj was drafted too quickly considering he did absolutely nothing in his first season in the OHL with 25 points, including 13 goals, in 68 games.
Those are the stats of a depth player in the OHL, not exactly worth a fourth round pick.
However, Xhekaj is showing this season that there is a lot more to it than the fact that Arber’s brother is behind him being selected 101st overall in the last draft.
Indeed, the 19-year-old forward is blossoming offensively, something CH believed was possible and hoped for by selecting him so high in the fourth round.
Xhekaj already has 10 points, including six goals, in 13 games this season with the Brantford Bulldogs.
He also scored twice in the Bulldogs’ 5-3 win against the Niagara IceDogs last night.
— Brantford Bulldogs (@BulldogsOHL) November 11, 2023
These are certainly two great goals from Xhekaj, but what we remember is his attitude after the two goals.
There is no objection to taunting the opponent and taunting the crowd.
Even that led to a small crowd that Xhekaj quickly joined.
So not only does Xhekaj trouble the opposition with his robust game and his taunting side, but he is also able to put points on the board.
10 points in 13 games is nothing for a guy who already has 20 penalty minutes and three fouls since the start of the season.
Florian is therefore very similar to his older brother Arber in terms of playing style.
The only difference is that he is a striker, so he can afford more in terms of tackles and penalties.
Losing him for five minutes hurts less than losing a defender like Arber Xhekaj for five minutes.
In short, quietly, Florian Xhekaj is developing offensively and flourishing in the OHL.
He’s proving the Habs right to pick him so high.
If he continues his good momentum in his development, we could see him in the pros sooner rather than later.
He is the type of player we always need in the fourth line.
And besides, who would say no to two Xhekajs in the Montreal lineup?
At least not me.
A lots of
– Well, let’s see, wow.
TJ Oshie in video game mode 🎮 pic.twitter.com/WjpHpeLYw8
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) November 11, 2023
– What do you think ?
— Hockey Inside/Out (@HabsIO) November 11, 2023
– Here’s a defenseman who is grabbing attention in the NHL on the transaction market.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) November 11, 2023
– Words by Olivier Renard.
ENCODED MESSAGE FROM OLIVIERO RENARD.
We will search everywhere. Even if he is in MLS, we will contact the club first.
Olivier Renard learned well in Montreal how to use press conferences to his advantage.
He knows that the questions won’t… pic.twitter.com/ukuDWQNfhV
— Nilton Jorge (@NiltonJorge) November 11, 2023
– A very nice goal.
❤ Hockey is beautiful. pic.twitter.com/weAo1T4HUv
— KHL (@khl_eng) November 11, 2023