There were numerous Montreal prospects who stood out in a positive way in
January. Unfortunately, all but one aren’t yet members of the Hamilton
Bulldogs who had quite possibly one of their worst months in team history.
For the first time this season, Alex Galchenyuk is not atop the non-Bulldog
prospect list, find out which youngster has taken his place as first star of the
1st Star: Gabriel Dumont – Let’s face it, pretty much every
player struggled offensively last month (the team scored 18 goals in 10 games)
but Dumont was the lone exception. He is quickly becoming more comfortable
with playing in a scoring role; the extra development of his offensive game
should help his chances at earning a recall should the injury bug strike in
Stats: 8 GP, 4-2-6, -1 rating, 22 SOG, 7 PIMS, 2 GWG (out of 3 team
2nd Star: Joey Tenute – If you’re wondering who he is, the 29
year old centre signed a tryout deal around the start of NHL training camps and within
a few weeks had earned a contract for the rest of the season. Unlike most
of the players that have been brought in, he has had a positive impact right
away and looks to be a fixture in the top-six for the rest of the year.
Stats: 8 GP, 2-2-4, +1 rating, 14 SOG, 8 PIMS
3rd Star: Frederic St. Denis – Dependability from veteran
blueliners is crucial in the AHL and in recent weeks, St. Denis has stepped up
his game even if the offensive numbers aren’t particularly special. He’s
logging heavy minutes on a regular basis and depending on the injury situation
in Montreal, he could be the first defenceman called up (unless the Habs want
toughness, then it will be Jarred Tinordi).
Stats: 8 GP, 1-2-3, even rating, 15 SOG, 2 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Cedrick Desjardins – He had a winning
percentage of .200 and still gets the nod (yes, it was that bad of a month)
because he gave Hamilton a chance to win in each of his starts. For some
reason, Sylvain Lefebvre kept going to Robert Mayer but Desjardins was the
better of the two goalies in January.
Stats: 5 GP, 1-2-2 record, 2.49 GAA, .908 SV%
(As Alex Galchenyuk is in the NHL, he is ineligible for a star here as the
point of these articles is to highlight players in the system.)
1st Star: Danny Kristo (North Dakota, NCAA) – Kristo continued
his goal scoring streak through the first half of the month (it lasted seven
games in total), one that vaulted him to within striking distance of becoming
the top scorer not only on his team but in all of college hockey. It’s
safe to say he is too good for this level now.
Stats: 8 GP, 7-5-12, 4 PIMS
2nd Star: Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi, QMJHL) – He missed some
games in December after being a late minute cut from Canada’s World Junior team
due to a back injury but Hudon was fully healthy last month and intent on making
up for lost time as he led the team in scoring. In his stints away from
his club team (the summer series vs Russia, QMJHL vs Russia in the SuperSeries,
and his time with the WJHC squad) we’ve seen him used primarily as a checker but
his offensive game is developing nicely as well.
Stats: 13 GP, 7-9-16, +3 rating, 20 PIMS
3rd Star: Tim Bozon (Kamloops, WHL) – January marked the second
straight strong month for the Habs’ 3rd round pick after struggling
significantly in November. He actually has spent some time away from the
big line that at one point sat 1-2-3 in league scoring but hasn’t slowed down
any. A 100 point season isn’t out of the question if he can keep it up.
Stats: 11 GP, 5-9-14, -1 rating, 4 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Magnus Nygren (Farjestad, SEL) – Last month
saw the 22 year old blueliner surpass his previous career highs in all
statistical categories. He has quickly gone from a depth offensive
defenceman to one that is logging heavy minutes (over 23 minutes per game) while
still being a top end scoring threat (he leads all SEL d-men in goals now).
Stats: 11 GP, 4-3-7, 6 PIMS