HabsWorld.net -- 

In this instalment of our prospect rankings, we see the first of the players
selected back in the June draft.  The Hamilton Bulldogs are well
represented here as no less than three skaters find themselves slotted in the
31-35 range.  Also, one prospect who in the past found himself in our
top-20 has slipped into this section.


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


#35) Colin Sullivan
Defenceman, Avon Old Farms, USHS
7th round pick (198th overall) in 2011

Of all of the 7th round gambles the Habs have used on collegiate bound
prospects in recent years (Michael Cichy, Scott Kishel, and Patrick Johnson),
Sullivan honestly intrigues me the most.  Instead of being an offensive
player that needs defensive refinement, it’s the other way around with him which
is something that couldn’t be said about the aforementioned players.  He is
most certainly a long, long-term prospect though as he won’t kick off his
college career until 2012-13. 

2010-11 Stats: 27 GP, 3-12-15, 14 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: N/A

#34) Hunter Bishop
Left Wing, Hamilton, AHL
Undrafted free agent signing in 2010

Bishop worked his way back up to Hamilton last season but didn’t come close
to having the same impact that he did when he signed out of college (2-3-5 in 9
preseason games).  Injuries ended his season prematurely and that may have
cost him a spot in the Bulldogs’ lineup to start this year with the added depth
on the wings.  Potentially losing your lineup spot heading into a contract
season isn’t exactly ideal but if he can earn his way back into Hamilton’s
lineup before the end of the year, it could earn him a new deal.

2010-11 Stats: 34 GP, 4-4-8, 10 PIMS, +7
Previous HW Ranking: 28th

#33) Dany Masse
Left Wing/Centre, Hamilton, AHL
Undrafted free agent signing in 2008

It’s all in the interpretation with Masse.  On the glass half full side,
he made tremendous strides in his defensive game, even earning some penalty kill
time towards the end of last season.  On the glass half empty side, his
offensive game seems to have completely vanished.  His versatility position
wise should help to keep him up with Hamilton full time this year but he will
need to take strides forward in all aspects to avoid becoming a complete
afterthought on the depth chart.

2010-11 Stats: 36 GP, 3-6-9, 18 PIMS, +2
Previous HW Ranking: 35th

#32) Joe Stejskal
Defenceman, Dartmouth, ECAC
5th round pick (133rd overall) in 2007

Stejskal plays a very safe defensive game while he isn’t afraid to throw the
body around.  Those elements are what prompted the Habs to give him a pro
contract after he finished in college, getting him into some games in Hamilton
before their season ended.  As it stands, he’s likely a reserve defenceman
with the Bulldogs heading into 2011-12 so it may be in his best interest to see
regular action with Wheeling in the East Coast League.  Mind you, we
figured the same with Brendon Nash last year and we all know how that turned

2010-11 Stats: 33 GP, 3-2-5, 37 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: 30th

#31) Maxim Trunev
Right Wing, Severstal, KHL
5th round pick (138th overall) in 2008

On raw talent alone, there is no way he should be this low on the list. 
He moved up full time to the KHL in 2010-11 and although his offensive game
didn’t thrive, his defensive game made some strides.  With a full year
under his belt, the offence should come along this season.  So, why is he
so low?  To date, Trunev has shown no desire to come to North America which
really lessens his chance of having any sort of impact for the Habs short of
being trade bait.  If he ever has a change of heart though, he’ll shoot up
this list quickly.