Habs Future

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Robert Rice (SeriousFan09) checks in with his latest look at Canadiens’ prospects.

THREE STARS

1. RW Aaron Palushaj earns top honours once more as his productive week helped clinch a second North Division title for the Hamilton Bulldogs. After going without a point in the first two games of the week, Palushaj quickly ramped up his offensive production when it mattered most. In the opening game of a back-to-back series with the Manitoba Moose in a challenge for the Division Title, Aaron Palushaj recorded his first career hat trick in the AHL and added one assist for his first career four-point game as well in a 6-3 victory for Hamilton. The following night, Palushaj would add one assist on the opening goal of a 3-1 victory for Hamilton as his scoring drive in the final stretch of the season finalized an outstanding 8-1-0-1 run in their final ten games that raised the Bulldogs from edging into the playoffs to holding home ice in their opening series. Palushaj’s 22 goals and 35 assists are a dramatic improvement on last season, an increase in 14 goals and 13 assists with just 6 more games played compared to his rookie season.

2. G Peter Delmas breaks out of the bubble category this week in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers in his ECHL playoff debut in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Delmas completed a schedule of twin back-to-back appearances over five days to help his team win the best-of-five series. Delmas went undefeated in his first two appearances, posting twin overtime wins on Tuesday and Wednesday night, allowing 3 goals on Tuesday night but only one on Wednesday to give his team a 2-0 series lead. Delmas struggled on Friday night, allowing four goals as his team lost the match, but than rebounded by stopping 24 of 26 shots on Saturday night to help his team win the series. Delmas recorded a Goals Against Average of 2.38 and a save percentage of .908 in the opening series.

3. C Louis Leblanc continues his offensive drive in the QMJHL playoffs with the Montreal Juniors, Leblanc scored his fifth goal of the playoffs and added his first assist to help the Juniors in a comeback against the Lewistone MAINEiacs on Friday night. Leblanc scored the 3rd goal of the game for the Juniors while they were down 4-2 against Lewiston, than assisted on the go-ahead goal that temporarily had the Juniors at a 5-4 advantage before the game was eventually won by Montreal in overtime. So far, the Juniors have not lost a game in which Leblanc scores a goal and are 1-1 in games when he has not scored.

Worthy Mentions: Undrafted free agent signing LW Alain Berger scored a goal and assist for his first points in his 2nd-round playoff series, to help the Oshawa Generals make it a 1-1 series with the Niagara Ice Dogs. LW Phillippe Lefebvre scored a goal and two assists to raise his scoring to better than point per game in the QMJHL playoffs, he’s already scored more points in 6 games than he did in 14 games in the playoffs last season. D Brendon Nash raised himself to 30 points in his AHL rookie season with 5G and 25A and leading all defencemen with a +22 rating.

Question Marks: RW Alexander Avtsin was scratched for all four remaining games on the Hamilton regular-season schedule. D Mac Bennett’s season is over, his team was eliminated in the NCAA National Championship game. D Mathieu Carle is out with a lower body injury. C Andreas Engqvist is currently out with an upper body injury. RW Danny Kristo’s season is over, North Dakota was eliminated from the NCAA National Tournament. G Robert Mayer has not had a start with Hamilton in their last twenty games. D Greg Pateryn’s season is over, his team was eliminated in the NCAA National Championship game.

Complete Statistics for the week of April 4th:

Legend: Skaters: Games Played, Goals, Assists, +/-, Penalty Minutes
 | Goalies: Wins, Losses, Overtime Losses, Shootout Losses, Goals Against Average, Save Percentage | 
Teams: Wins, Losses, Overtime Losses, Shootout Losses, Ties (for NCAA teams only)
 | Season Stats: Season scoring prior to the past week.

The AHL Report: The Hamilton Bulldogs have been the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens since 2002. It is the most common route for developing Montreal Canadiens prospects into full-time members of the organization. There are currently 12 members of the Hamilton Bulldogs that can be considered NHL-viable prospects, four of which, David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty, Yannick Weber and Ryan White have been called up to Montreal. The Hamilton Bulldogs have a record of 44-27-2-7 and have won their second consecutive North Division Title.
RW Alexander Avtsin: 20 years old, 6’2″, 199 pounds, RH shot.

Season Stats: 58GP, 5G, 15A, +2, 22 PIM
Weekly Stats: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 58GP, 5G, 15A, +2, 22 PIM

D Mathieu Carle: 23 years old, 6′, 203 pounds, RH shot. Alternate Captain

Season Stats: 68GP, 10G, 16A, +19. 44 PIM

Weekly Stats: 2GP, 0G, 0A, 0, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 70GP, 10G, 16A, +19. 44 PIM

LW Andrew Conboy: 22 years old, 6’4”, 192 pounds, LH shot.

Season Stats: 60GP, 12G, 10A, +3, 119 PIM
Weekly Stats: 4GP, 1G, 0A, +1, 7 PIM | Complete Stats: 64GP, 13G, 10A, +4, 126 PIM

C Gabriel Dumont: 20 years old, 5’10”, 180 pounds, RH shot.

Season Stats: 60GP, 5G, 13A, -5, 79 PIM
Weekly Stats: 4GP, 0G, 0A, 0, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 64GP, 5G, 13A, -5, 79 PIM

C Andreas Engqvist: 23 years old, 6’4″, 191 pounds, RH shot.

Season Stats: 69GP, 9G, 15A, +9 18 PIM
Weekly Stats: 2GP, 0G, 0A, 0, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 71GP, 9G, 15A, +9 18 PIM

G Robert Mayer: 22 years old, 6’1″, 209 pounds, catches left.

Season Stats: 21GP, 9-10-1-1, 3.06 GAA, .890%
Weekly Stats: 0GP, 0-0-0-0, GAA,  .% | Complete Stats: 21GP, 9-10-1-1, 3.06 GAA, .890%

D Brendon Nash: 23 years old, 6’3″, 218 pounds, LH shot.

Season Stats: 71GP, 6G, 24A, +18, 51 PIM

Weekly Stats: 4GP, 0G, 1A, +4, 7 PIM | Complete Stats: 75GP, 6G, 25A, +22, 58 PIM

RW Aaron Palushaj: 22 years old, 6′, 183 pounds, RH shot.

Season Stats: 64GP, 19G, 33A, +19, 38 PIM

Weekly Stats: 4GP, 3G, 2A, +3, 2 PIM | Complete Stats: 68GP, 22G, 35A, +22, 40 PIM

Called up to Montreal:

C David Desharnais: 24 years old, 5’6″, 177 pounds, LH shot. Alternate Captain

Season Stats: 35GP, 10G, 35A, +14, 24 PIM

LW Max Pacioretty: 22 years old, 6’2″, 210 pounds, LH shot.

Season Stats: 27GP, 17G, 14A, +4, 20 PIM

D Yannick Weber: 22 years old, 5’11”, 196 pounds, RH shot.

Season Stats: 15GP, 8G, 4A, -5, 10 PIM

C Ryan White: 23 years old, 6′, 198 pounds, RH shot. Alternate Captain

Season Stats: 33GP, 3G, 9A, -5, 77 PIM

The Juniors Report: The Canadiens currently feature prospects playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL). These leagues can be considered the primary conduit towards professional hockey in North America.

QMJHL:

C Michaël Bournival: 18 years old, 6’, 190 pounds, LH shot.
Junior Club: Shawinigan Cataractes – Team Captain (42W, 23L, 2OTL, 1 SOL) (4-2 Playoff Record)

Season Stats: 56GP, 28G, 36A, +4, 28 PIM

Playoff Stats: 5GP, 3G, 3A, +1, 2 PIM
Weekly Stats: 2GP, 0G, 1A, -4, 2 PIM | Complete Stats: 7GP, 3G, 4A, -3, 4 PIM

D Morgan Ellis: 18 years old, 6’2″, 196 pounds, RH shot

Junior Club: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles – Team Captain (18W, 45L, 1 OTL, 4 SOL) (0-4 Playoff Record)

Season Stats: 65GP, 8G, 28A, -27, 65 PIM

Playoff Stats: 4GP, 0G, 0A, -4, 8 PIM

C Louis Leblanc: 20 years old, 6’1″, 184 pounds, RH shot.

Junior Club: Montreal Juniors – Alternate Captain. (46W, 12L, 5 OTL, 5 SOL) (5-0 Playoff Record)

Season Stats: 51GP, 26G, 32A, +21, 98 PIM

Playoff Stats: 4GP, 4G, 0A, +2, 2 PIM
Weekly Stats 1GP, 1G, 1A, +2, 4 PIM | Complete Stats: 5GP, 5G, 1A, +4, 6 PIM

LW Phillippe Lefebvre: 20 years old, 6′, 200 pounds, LH shot.

Junior Club: Montreal Juniors (46W, 12L, 5OTL, 5 SOL) (5-1 Playoff Record)

Season Stats: 60GP, 19G, 27A, +26, 38 PIM

Playoff Stats: 4GP, 2G, 2A, +5, 0 PIM
Weekly Stats 2GP, 1G, 2A, +1, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 6GP, 3G, 4A, +6, 0 PIM

OHL:

D Jarred Tinordi: 19 years old, 6’7″, 212 pounds, LH shot.

Junior Club: London Knights (34W, 29L, 4 OTL, 1 SOL) (2-4 Playoff Record)

Season Stats: 63GP, 1G, 13A, -8, 140 PIM

Playoff Stats: 6GP, 0G, 0A, -1, 17 PIM

LW Alain Berger: 20 years old, 6’4”, 208 pounds, RH shot.
Junior Club: Oshawa Generals (39W, 19W, 4 OTL, 6 SOL) (5-2 Playoff record)

Season Stats: 65GP, 29G, 23A, +19, 56 PIM

Playoff Stats: 4GP, 4G, 1A, +7, 0 PIM
Weekly Stats 2GP, 1G, 1A, -1, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 6GP, 4G, 1A, +6, 0 PIM

WHL:

RW Brendan Gallagher: 18 years old, 5’8″, 170 pounds, RH shot.

Junior Club: Vancouver Giants – Alternate Captain (35W, 32L, 1 OTL, 4 SOL) (0-4 Playoff Record)

Season Stats: 66GP, 44G, 47A, +29, 108 PIM

Playoff Stats: 4GP, 2G, 0A, 0, 14 PIM

US College Hockey (NCAA) Report: The Canadiens have drafted a number of college players in recent years, these are generally ‘project players’ who benefit from additional years in lower level hockey to develop their skills.
D Mac Bennett: 19 years old, 6′, 180 pounds, LH shot.

NCAA Team: University of Michigan Wolverines (29W, 11L, 4T)

Season Stats: 30GP, 2G, 10A, +13, 17 PIM
Weekly Stats: 2GP, 0G, 0A, -1, 4 PIM | Complete Stats: 32GP, 2G, 10A, +12, 21 PIM

RW Danny Kristo: 20 years old, 6′, 188 pounds, RH shot.

NCAA Team: University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (32W, 9L, 3T)

Season Stats: 33GP, 8G, 20A, +7, 18 PIM
Weekly Stats: 1GP, 0G, 0A, -1, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 34GP, 8G, 20A, +6, 18 PIM

D Greg Pateryn: 21 years old, 6’3”, 222 pounds. RH shot.

NCAA Team: University of Michigan Wolverines (29W, 11L, 4T)

Season Stats: 38GP, 3G, 13A, +13, 28 PIM
Weekly Stats: 2GP, 0G, 1A, +2, 0 PIM | Complete Stats: 40GP, 3G, 14A, +15, 28 PIM

C Dustin Walsh: 20 years old, 6’3”, 190 pounds, LH shot.

NCAA Team: Dartmouth College Big Green (19W, 12L, 3T)

Season Stats: 34GP, 10G, 10A, +2, 8 PIM

Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) Report: The Kontinental Hockey League is the professional hockey league of Russia, many Russian players first play professionally there before joining the NHL. Due to a lack of a player transfer agreement between the NHL and the KHL it can be very difficult for NHL clubs to bring over their drafted Russian prospects.
G Karri Ramo: 24 years old, 6’3″, 207 pounds, catches left.

KHL Club: Avangard Omsk (42W, 9L, 1 OTL, 2 SOL) (7-7 Playoff record)

Season Stats: 44GP, 33-6-2-1, 1.78GAA, .930%

Playoff Stats: 14GP, 6-4-2, 2.16GAA, .914%

RW Maxim Trunev: 20 years old, 5’11”, 189 pounds, RH shot.

KHL Club: Severstal Cherepovets (30W, 20L, 4 OTL, O SOL) (2-4 Playoff record)

Season Stats: 39GP, 1G, 6A, +3, 20 PIM

Playoff Stats: 6GP, 0G, 0A, -3, 2 PIM

D Alexei Yemelin: 24 years old, 6’1”, 221 pounds, LH shot.

KHL Club: Ak Bars Kazan (34W, 12L, 3OTL, 4 SOL) (5-4 Playoff record)

Season Stats: 51GP, 11G, 15A, +16, 117 PIM

Playoff Stats: 9GP, 0G, 0A, 0, 4 PIM

29 Comments

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  2. coutNY says:

    I think one of the best assets we may never see a Habs uniform is Yemelin. We should get Markov to talk Yemelin to come to the NHL. Size, Grit, Youth, sound d-man, and a bit of offensive prowess. It would help replenish the void caused by given up McDough for the un-Goddly-mess.

  3. Laramy87 says:

    I def enjoy reading about our future, good work SF.

    I went to an Oshawa Generals in February and the first player that caught my eye was Alain Berger. He had two goals and i believe an assist and was literally all over the ice. The next gens game i went to in March, it was similar result 1 goal and 1 assist. When i found out the Habs signed him i smiled abit. Maybe there was a reason he wasnt drafted or maybe he is a late bloomer. I think he can be a very good power forward. Hey, Desharniers was not drafted.

    As for Palushaj, I think that small stint with the big club did wonders for his confidence, he has been on fire since then. I expect him to be with the big club next year, hopefully

  4. rocketsglare says:

    Out of curiosity, have they ever written a book on the history of the legendary Canadiens- Bruins rivalry? Would make great reading.

  5. HardHabits says:

    I think you need to mention Boyd and Dawes.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I don’t really see Dawes at 26 as a prospect or a long-term piece, nor Boyd.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yes but as Palushaj is your number one on today’s list. It cannot be over-looked that his latest hot streak is going hand in hand with a torrid pace for Dawes and some solid contribution from Boyd. Almost every point Palushaj has is shared with Dawes and Dawes is out pacing Palushaj not the other way around.

        From my perspective, Palushaj doesn’t get those points without Dawes being in the mix.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          He likely doesn’t, but he’s producing when put with other players who can play is the key here IMO. Boyd has been useless on his own for most of the season, but Palushaj’s had a couple of very good stretches with other linemates.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  6. JD_ says:

    Nice job, SF.

    (Have to admit, I didn’t know Jerry Seinfeld was a Habs prospect.)

  7. CHsam says:

    This Alain Berger fellow looks interesting. I hope Palushaj puts on the extra muscle needed, could be good. Actually, if there’s one guy that I want to see get ripped like a monster this summer, is Benny

  8. 24moreCups says:

    Always look forward to these reports, another good job.

    So do you think Palushaj would be ready for the big club after another season with the Dog’s.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Potentially, right now I think the biggest thing holding him back is adding more strength, he seemed to easily pushed around like Pacioretty was in his first couple of NHL appearances, he needs to train like a demon in the offseason so he can handle NHL physical play.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Robert – If that’s true about Palushaj, then it appears there is no one in Hamilton who will be able to play with us next year (assuming Nash needs another year).

        We’ll have to fill the holes with lower tier UFAs.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Unfortunately that’s the size of it, our 2007 class is essentially graduated and the 2008 draftees onwards are not ready for the show yet.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Yemelin and Ramo.

          • thorandresson says:

            So if Palushaj isn’t ready next year, then there doesn’t seem to be anyone in the pipeline ready to make the jump next year. Not a bad thing considering so many guys did it this year (Eller, Pacciorretty, Deharnais, Subban, Weber and White).

            Do you think both Kristo and Leblanc will be making the jump to Hamilton next year? I would like to assume so, and they’d be contenders to join the team the following year (2012/2013) along with Palushaj.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Leblanc seems Hamilton-bound along with Lefebvre, Kristo seems to be looking at either another season at UND so he can dominate as a top player, or he may just sign a contract to play in HAM, he’s a USHL teammate of Louis Leblanc so they could revisit old chemistry together.

            – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  9. bel33 says:

    Love reading this… thanks for all the work Robert.

  10. sidhu says:

    Carle injured… again? Cut him loose already.

  11. thorandresson says:

    Hey any word on how Bennet and Pateryn faired in the Frozen 4?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Bennett didn’t do much to help, took two minors and was -1, Pateryn apparently was pretty poised and made a key play, shoveling a puck out of the net just as it was about to cross the goal line, got it out and that set up a 2-on-1 SH opportunity that tied the game forced OT.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  12. Gormdog says:

    Wow, a real kick in the package to Avtsin’s career path…

    • CanadienBoy says:

      North Americans lifestyle just like SK and Garboskis

      • observer says:

        North Americans lifestyle just like SK and Garboskis

        ——–

        Toronto and Tennessee have European lifestyles? Maybe all it is – the Gainey/Martin follow MY system or else? Methinks Ribeiro, Ryder, Latendresse and D’Agostini were born in North Ameican “lifesstyles” too!

    • Former Jets Fan says:

      Cut the kid some slack – he’s younger than PK, and an ocean away from everything he knows.

      • Gormdog says:

        Not taking anything away from him, or blaming him, or saying he’s a lost cause…

        But him being benched pre playoffs is 100% a bad thing. I have big hopes for the kid, but, at the least, this is a setback…

    • Number31 says:

      He’s got plenty of time to work on his career. He’s the YOUNGEST player in Hamilton, and had to deal with various injuries all year including dealing with a lace bite problem. But when you watch him skate you can see his talent. He just needs more time and to fill in his lanky big body.


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