The month of November sees an almost entirely new set of prospects rise to
the top in our monthly 3-Stars. In Hamilton, it was the expected top guys
that stood out amongst the crowd while at the junior level, it was the opposite.
The players in this group that earned top nods were some of the Habs’
lesser-discussed prospects and not necessarily the ones expected to dominate.
1st Star: Dustin Tokarski – For at least a couple of weeks, he was
handed the starting reigns instead of playing in a platoon. Tokarski
certainly made the most of it, posting numbers among the best in the league,
even if the win-loss record isn’t the greatest. With managements’
predisposition towards giving Robert Mayer extra playing time, Tokarski is going
to be feeling the pressure all season, this past month was a great way to
respond to it.
Stats: 12 GP, 6-4-0 record, 1.91 GAA, .935 SV%, 1 SO
2nd Star: Martin St. Pierre – The veteran was brought in to be the
go-to guy for the Bulldogs and after a slow start (which wasn’t helped by an
early injury), he has done just that. St. Pierre had a had in nearly 45%
of Hamilton’s goals in November. When he gets consistent linemates (early
injuries/recalls juggled his wingers), his line has the potential to be one of
the better ones in the AHL.
Stats: 14 GP, 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points, -2 rating, 4 PIMS, 16
3rd Star: Christian Thomas – Speaking of St. Pierre’s linemates, the
first year Bulldog is one of them. It took Thomas a couple of games after
being activated off of IR to find his skating legs and rhythm but after that, he
was a scoring threat every time he was on the ice. If he continues to be a
go-to guy, he could be a strong candidate to be the first forward called up when
injuries strike the Canadiens.
Stats: 8 GP, 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, -1 rating, 4 PIMS, 28 SOG
Honourable Mention: Mike Condon – Yes, technically he’s not a Bulldog
but I wanted to highlight his strong month. Although he was put in a
platoon situation with Eric Hartzell (the most sought after free agent goalie
from the NCAA last year), Condon has taken over the starting reigns and earned
himself Rookie of the Month honours in the ECHL. If the need should arise,
he should be a solid call up for Hamilton.
Stats: 9 GP, 7-1-0-1 record, 1.86 GAA, .943 SV%, 1 SO
1st Star: Martin Reway (Gatineau, QMJHL) – The junior ranks are full
of point-per-game players so it’s not a huge deal for a forward to produce at
that rate. However, there are very few who can put up two points per game
or better and last month, Reway did just that. After being criticized for
his work ethic early by his coach, he has become one of the top scorers in the
Quebec League. That’s a pretty nice response.
Stats: 10 GP, 9 goals, 13 assists, 22 points, +8 rating (even or
better in every game), 12 PIMS, 51 SOG
2nd Star: Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi, QMJHL) – He hasn’t been as
dominant as some would have hoped but he has still been one of the better
players in the ‘Q’ this season. Hudon played a pair of strong games in the
Subway Super Series and didn’t look out of place alongside the leagues’ top two
scorers (Mantha and Drouin). With his club team, he continues to be a
steady point producer. He’s highly likely to be dealt in the coming weeks
in junior, it will be interesting to see where he lands as he’ll have no
shortage of suitors.
Stats: 11 GP, 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points, +4 rating, 16 PIMS, 66
3rd Star: Brady Vail (Windsor, OHL) – After a disappointing training
camp and USA summer camp, Vail has responded the best way possible – by taking
steps forward in improving his weaknesses and picking up his scoring pace.
The Spitfires are in sell mode so at the moment, he finds himself as the top
scorer and the go-to guy on his team. That should be beneficial for his
development although he too is a strong candidate to be traded by January’s OHL
Stats: 12 GP, 3 goals, 12 assists, 15 points, +10 rating, 6 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Dalton Thrower (Vancouver, WHL) – After being one
of the more disappointing prospects last year, Thrower has turned his game
around. He has taken on a high leadership role with the Giants as captain
while providing a higher than expected level of production (even though
overagers typically have their strongest year in that season). So far, the
decision to send him back to junior looks like a good one. With his team
near the bottom of the standings, Thrower is another prospect whose junior
rights could be dealt shortly.
Stats: 10 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, +5 rating, 23 PIMS