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With only half a roster in place last year, the Hamilton Bulldogs were one of the top AHL teams in the leagues history, breaking all kinds of records along the way, coming one win away from a championship cup for a champion team. This year the team is almost completely full, with the exception of 4 roster spots filled by Tampa Bay Lighting prospects. A new coach, a new conference, and lots of new faces on the team, the Hamilton Bulldogs start the new season as the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, who look to build a solid foundation through the farm.



For the Bulldogs, there are 5 1st year professionals on the team, Alex Perezhogin, Chris Higgins, Jonathan Ferland, Duncan Milroy, and Andrew Archer. Also three players in their 2nd year of professional hockey, Mike Komisarek, Tomas Plekanec, and Josef Balej, this team has a lot of young inexperienced players that coach Jarvis will have to mold into shape.



Tomas Plekanec- We start with Plekanec, who has been the Dogs best player so far, as he impressed management in camp/preseason, and is showing that confidence pays off. Getting more ice time has been a key to success for the young Czech center, who has been moved up to the 2nd line center, and at times, 1st line. He’s also getting quality PP time, and looks to have a fine scoring touch with another 2nd year pro, Josef Balej. Plekanec has been setting up a lot of nice plays, as he has produced the most consistently of all the forwards.



Josef Balej- After being returned to the WHL as an overager, a disappointing 1st year in the AHL, and not much luck at the Habs camp, things weren’t looking good for Balej, but don’t tell him that, as he has been flying up and down the ice shooting the puck at will. Hopefully this success will give Balej the confidence to produce on a nightly basis, and having Plekanec feed him the puck won’t hurt his chances. Great to see him start the new season with a bang, as his hard work is paying off so far on the scoresheet which puts him near the top of the team in scoring. Balej really seems to have his confidence going, as he is generating a lot of scoring chances, using his speed to his advantage.



Alex Perezhogin- Perezhogin comes over to North America after a successful season playing on one of the top lines in the Russian Super League. He has never played outside the Russian system, and does not speak English very well, which is bound to cause him numerous problems. But there’s no denying that he has an impressive skill set with which to work with. His skating, speed, and offensive abilities should be a treat for fans, as he starts to learn his way around the smaller rink and different playing styles. So far the goals haven’t come, but he’s been playing on the top line for the most part, and getting quality PP time. He’s getting his chances, which is good to see.



Mike Komisarek- Not many expected Komisarek to be back in the AHL after such an impressive performance as a rookie. But hopefully Komisarek works on some things while he’s done here, as this is the time for him to reflect and improve upon himself without the pressure of NHL hockey. So far he has picked up where he left off, as one of the top defensemen on the team, and has been taking the body more so this year then last.



Francois Beauchemin- After being one of the top defensemen in the AHL last year, Beauchemin continues to improve upon his game. He did struggle somewhat after being sent down, but has picked it up recently with the help of his partner from last year, Mike Komisarek. Beauchemin will get top pairing ice time, on both the PP and the PK. Has been shooting the puck more then any Bulldog so far this season.



Jonathan Ferland- The physical winger has been taking the body, and showing signs of improvement through each game. He has been getting a few good chances on offense, but they haven’t been dropping for him yet. He has been playing on the 3rd line, getting some decent ice time, as he is good along the boards and in his own end.



M-A Thinel- Has bounced around the lineup, from 1st line to 3rd line to press box. Thinel needs to show what he can do with the puck, as he has soft hands, but has had trouble producing and along the boards.



Duncan Milroy- Just returned from injury to play in his first professional game. He saw less and less ice time, but he hasn’t played much hockey since April, outside of camp and off season training. Milroy and others may have a tough time getting top ice time, as there are several players on the team in front of them, a problem that Plekanec and Balej ran into last season.



Chris Higgins- After a brief stint in the NHL, Higgins just played in his first AHL game of his career. So far this season, Higgins hasn’t seen much action, but that should change after a few games in the AHL adapting to speed and physical play of game. Hopefully Higgins can provide the Bulldogs with a much needed offensive spark, while playing a solid all round game. After being one of the top players in the NCAA last year, Higgins will be a welcome addition to an impressive lineup in Hamilton.



Jerome Marois- Has been sent down to the ECHL and loaned to the Long Beach Ice Dogs. In Hamilton he played little, and did not have much success in those games.





ECHL



Matt Shasby- Another first year professional, Shasby is fresh off playing 4 years in the NCAA, after spending some time in the USHL as well. Shasby has gotten off to a good start, as one of the teams top scorers. Hopefully he continues to play well if he is to be called up to Hamilton.



Christian Larrivee- Has setup a couple of plays so far, but will need to really show something in the ECHL, as the skill level in Hamilton is very high right now, which makes it hard for a player to get ice time. This may be a good position for him, as he can work on improving his game, with little to no pressure on him, and next year there should be more roster spots available on the Bulldogs roster.



















































































































































Name


Games


Goals


Assists


Points


+/-


Pims


Tomas Plekanec


8


3


5


8


-1


18


Josef Balej


8


2


4


6


-1


2


Alex Perezhogin


8


0


2


2


0


4


Mike Komisarek


5


0


2


2


-2


15


Francois Beauchemin


8


1


0


1


-2


8


Jonathan Ferland


8


0


1


1


+2


8


M-A-Thinel


5


0


1


1


-2


2


J-F Damphousse


4


0


0


0


0


0


Duncan Milroy


1


0


0


0


0


0


Chris Higgins


1


0


0


0


0


0


Jerome Marois


2


0


0


0


-2


0


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


ECHL


 


 


 


 


 


 


Matt Shasby


6


1


4


5


+1


4


Christian Larrivee


6


0


3


3


+2


6


Jerome Marois


0


0


0


0


 


0