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Part 4 in our series takes us to the halfway point of the 2011 prospect
rankings.  This grouping consists primarily of unsigned prospects and
brings an international flavour to the table as four different countries are
represented here.  As is the case with the 26-30 group, most of these
players qualify as long-term projects.


This year, we changed things up a little.  The top-10 have been voted on
by members of our HW writing staff while the remainder of the rankings were done
by yours truly.  Here are the criteria that each player had to meet to be
eligible to be in these rankings:

1) The player must be 24 years old or younger as of October 1, 2011
2) The player must have no greater than 40 games of NHL experience (including
regular season and playoffs)
3) The player has to be signed on an NHL contract

As the Habs brought several youngsters up last season, this year’s list will
look a lot different as many of the top prospects are no longer eligible. 
Here are the departures from last year’s list:

Graduated: David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Frederic St. Denis, P.K.
Subban, Yannick Weber, Ryan White, Alexei Yemelin
Released: Patrick Johnson, Petteri Simila, J.T. Wyman
Traded: Mathieu Carle, Ben Maxwell, Ryan Russell

Recently acquired Michael Blunden also does not qualify for prospect
status due to NHL experience while Raphael Diaz does not meet the age


#25) Steve Quailer
Right Wing, Northeastern, H-East (NCAA)
3rd round pick (86th overall) in 2008

No one really knew what to expect from the 6’4 winger last year as he was
coming back from missing all of 2009-10 due to an injury.  He had an
up-and-down campaign on the scoresheet but at the very least managed to play in
every game which is a positive sign.  He still has a pair of years of
college eligibility left after being redshirted for his injury season so the
Habs can afford to be patient with his development.  If he can stay
healthy, he does project as a power forward given his hands and size.

2010-11 Stats: 38 GP, 3-10-13, 39 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: 19th

#24) Alain Berger
Right Wing, Oshawa, OHL
Undrafted free agent signing in 2011

The Habs dipped into the OHL free agent pool just before the playoffs started
and landed themselves an intriguing prospect.  He has size and a decent
scoring touch (3rd on the Generals in goals) but is a little behind in the
development curve having spent just two years in the OHL (he played the bulk of
his time previously in the Swiss second division).  He’ll be battling for
one of the final wing spots in Hamilton; if he doesn’t get one there, he’ll log
significant minutes for Wheeling in the East Coast League.

2010-11 Stats: 65 GP, 29-23-52, 86 PIMS, +16
Previous HW Ranking: N/A

#23) Daniel Pribyl
Centre, Sparta Praha U20, Czech U20
6th round pick (168th overall) in 2011

The World Junior Inline champion was one of Montreal’s more popular picks
from the most recent draft given his well rounded range of offensive skills and
the fact he managed to see some time in the top league in the Czech Republic
last season.  Still, there is a reason he fell to the Habs at 168th overall
so fans should keep their expectations tempered.  The hope is that Pribyl
can make the full time jump to the top division this year while contending for a
spot at the World Juniors. 

2010-11 Stats: 41 GP, 27-31-58, 22 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: N/A

#22) Mark MacMillan
Centre, Penticton, BCHL
4th round pick (113th overall) in 2010

MacMillan’s season started off nicely as he got dealt to his hometown team
while getting off to a hot start before being hit with an injury that cost him
about a third of the season.  Despite the setback, he still managed to
finish 3rd in team scoring.  He’s now off to North Dakota (where he’ll join
Danny Kristo) where one of the biggest things will be to bulk up as he weighs in
at just 160 pounds.  Like several of Montreal’s later NCAA-bound picks, he
may very well be a four year player at the collegiate level.

2010-11 Stats: 40 GP, 21-36-57, 43 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: 23rd

#21) Ian Schultz
Right Wing, Hamilton, AHL
3rd round pick (87th overall) in 2008 (acquired via trade from St. Louis)

To call 2010-11 a disappointment would be an understatement for the physical
forward.  It was hoped that his offensive game from junior would come with
him to the next level but instead he struggled to stay in the lineup where he
provided very little aside from the odd fight.  He did improve as the
season went on and had more of a regular role in the postseason which should
help his chances of cracking a deeper Bulldogs squad this season.  There
were hopes he’d be NHL ready in a hurry but those have long been put to rest.

2010-11 Stats: 45 GP, 3-1-4, 49 PIMS, -5
Previous HW Ranking: 15th