It has been a couple of months since we’ve taken a look at the Canadiens’ European-based propsects. Though the playoffs may be a couple of weeks away in North America, they are in full swing on the old continent.
We will catch up on how Martin Reway, Artturi Lehkonen and Andreas Engqvist have been doing and we will also take a look at another team that has its fair share of former Habs.
Martin Reway has had an impressive campaign. Between injuries and international commitments, he missed 20 games with HC Sparta Praha and still managed to finish third on the team in scoring, with 37 points in 34 games.
His team managed to dispose of Hradec Kralove in the first of the playoffs and Reway, again, was a regular contributor, adding a goal and four assists. They are now set to face HC Trinec Ocelari in the next round.
If Reway’s calling card this season has been consistency, then for Lehkonen, it has been streakiness.
In November, Lehkonen had 11 points in his still-young SHL campaign. Since, he has only managed to add five points, finishing the regular season with eight goals and as many assists. In short, since the holidays, it seems that Lehkonen has struggled to translate his significant skills into points.
In the playoffs, Lehkonen managed two assists in Frolunda’s hard-fought seven game series against 2015 Champions Hockey League winners Lulea. Frolunda won the deciding game and will now face the Vaxjo Lakers in the league semi-finals.
Though his overall numbers are not inspiring, many still view him as a top-tier prospect within the organisation. For example, Mathias Brunet, over at La Presse, considers the winger to be the Habs’ second best prospect
We’ve been following Engqvist in this report because, frankly, he has been more interesting to follow than Joonas Naatinen or Maxim Trunev – two players who are still technically Canadiens’ property but are about as likely to suit up for the Habs as our own Brian La Rose.
Going back to Engqvist, the big Swede has shown an interesting a level of offensive consistency in the KHL. First playing for struggling Atlant Mytschi and then moving to the legendary CKSA Moscow team, the winger has put up 17 goals and 35 points in 50 regular season games.
Though not earth shattering numbers, they are still attractive, especially given Engqvist’s considerable size.
Unfortunately for him, he suffered an injury at the start of the playoffs and has been on the sidelines since. Meanwhile, his team defeated HC Sochi and Jokerit Helsinki en route to the KHL semi-finals, where they must face SKA St. Petersburg. It is unclear if Engqvist will be able to return for that series.
Where are they now?
In January, we looked at how Zagreb seems to have become a sort of secondary home for former Habs prospects.
It turns out a few other former Canadiens’ picks have made a home for themselves in the southern German town of Nuremberg. Corey Locke, J.T Wyman and Kyle Klubertanz have carved out a niche for themselves with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers who, unfortunately, were eliminated last week by top-seeded Adler Mannheim.
Though J.T Wyman did not tear up the league offensively – he managed only seven points in the regular season and one point in the playoffs – Corey Locke proved to be a key contributor. The Ontario native put up 30 points in 44 regular season games and then added nine points in eight playoff contests. Throughout his junior and minor-pro career, Locke has always been a consistent threat but, for whatever reason, he has never been able to translate that to the NHL.
As for Klubertanz, who played in Hamilton for the bulk of 2010-11, he matched Locke’s 30 points from the blueline and also added four points in the playoffs.