Another month has passed and the worldwide hockey calendar is in full swing. Over in Europe, most leagues have already played around 20 games and the Champions Hockey League has entered its playoff phase.
While most of Montreal’s prospect riches are in North America, two of the team’s best offensive prospects – Martin Reway and Artturi Lehkonen – are making their mark on the Old Continent.
In fact, as Pat Paeplow of Hockey’s Future recently put it, “Lehkonen and Reway arguably have the highest offensive upside of any of Montreal’s prospects.”
With that in mind, we look at how Montreal’s crop of European prospects have done in the last month.
At this point, Martin Reway’s offensive gifts are clear. Though he was held pointless in Prague’s first-leg CHL playoff loss against Linkoping, the Slovak has otherwise been keeping up his point-per-game pace. He has 11 points in 12 Czech League contests to go along with his seven points in as many CHL games.
The real concerns with the winger seem to be with his character. Reports out of the Czech Republic have recently called his attitude into question and have claimed that he refuses to grant media interviews.
And, in late October, when Reway missed four games with the flu, rumours swirled that he was in fact benched by his coach due to his off-ice behaviour.
Artturi Lehkonen continues to be having a strong offensive season with Frolunda, recently adding an assist in his team’s 5-1 CHL playoff victory versus Taapara Tampere. He now has five points in six CHL games to go along with his ten points in 18 SHL contests.
Having said that, it is worth considering that Lehkonen is playing on an offensively gifted team and his numbers may be the result of some slight inflation, especially in the CHL, where Frolunda averages over five goals per game.
Always pegged as a defensive forward, the Finn has only accumulated four points so far this year with MODO. And, as we mentioned last month, his faceoff skills – or lack thereof – are cause for concern. Though an improvement over last month, he has only won 46.5% of his draws in the SHL.
Those numbers hardly seem good enough for the SHL, never mind the NHL.
Within the HabsWorld staff, there is some question as to Engqvist’s status as Canadiens property. Until we can conclusively resolve that question, we will continue to assume he is indeed a prospect within the Habs’ system.
The sizeable Swede was having a hot start in the KHL, with six goals in his first nine games with Atlant. His production has tailed off a bit since, but his 16 points in 23 games are still more than respectable. Regardless, it is unlikely an NHL organization — Montreal or otherwise — will take a chance on him. But, 6’3 wingers able to score do not grow on trees, so you never know.
Again this month, Trunev appears solely for the sake of thoroughness. With only 4 points in 15 KHL contests, there is little reason to have him on your prospect radar.