The month of March was a very good one for many of the Habs’ prospects.
In Hamilton, the Bulldogs had one of their better months of the year while many
of their junior prospects got off to strong starts to their respective
postseasons while also finishing their regular season off strong. Which
prospects stood out amongst the rest to earn one of our three stars?
1st Star: Sven Andrighetto – For the second straight month, the
Swiss rookie sits atop our list. He was yet again Hamilton’s top scorer in
the month and he is beginning to put up points with more consistency instead of
just producing in spurts. With the Bulldogs out of the playoffs, a strong
finish to his year could keep his season alive, either as a black ace for the
Habs or perhaps on Switzerland’s entry for the World Championships.
Stats: 14 GP, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, -1 rating, 16 PIMS, 36
2nd Star: Greg Pateryn – Although he can’t seem to get the
attention of the organization to get recalled, it’s not for a lack of trying or
production. Pateryn continues to be the clear-cut top blueliner on the
Bulldogs while he still is putting up the points; I have to admit that I
expected his production to slow down by now. There’s not much more he can
do out there to get a shot, hopefully the Habs give him one sooner than later.
Stats: 13 GP, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, -2 rating, 12 PIMS, 31
3rd Star: Michael Blunden – After having a rough patch in
February, Blunden bounced back last month. His offensive game sprang back
to life – he now has equalled his career high in goals in a single season –
while still playing in a defensive role. He got into a playoff game with
Montreal last year and he is moving up the ladder to get into a game if injuries
strike the Canadiens once again in the postseason.
Stats: 14 GP, 5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points, -3 rating, 21 PIMS, 41
Honourable Mention: Christian Thomas – In my opinion, this was
his best month of the year so far. He and Andrighetto are starting to show
some chemistry while he continues to be aggressive in looking for his shot (his
best weapon). After what has to be considered somewhat of a disappointing
year, this is a promising finish for Thomas.
Stats: 14 GP, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, -3 rating, 4 PIMS, 41
1st Star: Zach Fucale (Halifax, QMJHL) – Fucale’s junior career
so far has been all about piling up the wins and March was no exception.
In fact, he didn’t lose a single game last month. The Mooseheads had a
long postseason run last year and if Fucale keeps this up, there’s a good chance
they’ll be playing deep into May once again.
Stats: Regular Season: 7 GP, 6-0-0 record, 2.05 GAA, .914 SV%, 1
Playoffs: 4 GP, 4-0-0 record, 1.36 GAA, .930 SV%
2nd Star: Martin Reway (Gatineau, QMJHL) – He had a bit of a
quiet finish to the regular season but he more than made up for that with an
incredible first round performance. When he’s on his game, he can dominate
at the junior level and it will take that type of effort to get past Halifax in
the second round.
Stats: Regular Season: 6 GP, 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points, -4 rating,
2 PIMS, 11 shots
Playoffs: 4 GP, 4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points, +15 rating, 4 PIMS, 12
3rd Star: Jeremy Gregoire (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) – Last year,
Gregoire saved his best play for late in the year and if March was any
indication, he may be doing the same again this season. He had a strong
finish to the regular season and tied for the team lead in scoring in their
first round sweep. Worth noting, he was tied for first round scoring with
Stats: Regular Season: 6 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, +4 rating,
14 PIMS, 20 shots
Playoffs: 4 GP, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, +2 rating, 4 PIMS, 28 shots
Honourable Mention: Magnus Nygren (Farjestad, SHL) – With the
talk about the Habs needing another offensive d-man, I can’t help but wonder
that if Nygren stuck around, would he have got a shot with the big club?
All he has done since returning to Sweden is produce, finishing off the regular
season on a high note.
Stats: Regular Season: 3 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, +3 rating,
2 PIMS, 11 shots, 1 hit
Playoffs: 5 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, +2 rating, 2 PIMS, 19 shots,