The month of March saw some new faces step up for the Hamilton Bulldogs as they continue their quest for a postseason berth. Meanwhile, the playoffs are in full force in many other leagues and quite a few of Montreal’s prospects are playing quite well in their early series.
1st Star: Eric Tangradi – After missing a bit of time due to injury, Tangradi returned to the lineup and played at a much higher level than he had at any other point in the season. As a result, he finds himself back in the top six up front which gives the Bulldogs some much needed size on the top lines. He’s playing his way back into consideration for a call-up should some injuries occur up front with Montreal.
Stats: 11 GP, 7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points, +4 rating, 35 shots, 16 PIMS
2nd Star: T.J. Hensick – The veteran had a slow start to the season but has steadily picked up his game in recent months to the point now where he is tied for the team lead in scoring. Hensick hasn’t been particularly dangerous when it comes to putting the puck in the net but he’s at his best when he’s setting up his linemates, something he did a lot of last month.
Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points, +2 rating, 29 shots, 4 PIMS
3rd Star: Sven Andrighetto – Although the second year winger hasn’t been lighting the lamp very often lately, other elements of his game have taken steps forward. In terms of his offensive abilities, his playmaking was on full display in March. Also, he has played a lot more of a two way game lately which is something he was told to work on after the Habs sent him back to Hamilton a while back.
Stats: 11 GP, 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points, -3 rating, 25 shots, 6 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Gabriel Dumont – Although the points weren’t as good as they were back in February where he averaged over one per game, he was still one of the better Bulldogs on that side of the puck while moving between offensive and defensive-minded roles. If Hamilton is to make a run in these final few games, Dumont will likely be one of the catalysts to get things going.
Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, +1 rating, 26 shots, 17 PIMS
(Stats include playoff numbers.)
1st Star: Martin Reway (Sparta, Czech League) – Although Reway didn’t get into many games, he certainly made his mark in limited action. Overall, you can’t be anything but impressed with how his regular season went and he’s off to a strong start in postseason play as well. After the playoffs, there’s little doubt that he’ll be off to the World Championships next month which will make for an unconventional but strong season of development.
Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 10 assists, 11 points, -3 rating, 24 PIMS
2nd Star: Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) – Audette has been hot and cold this year but this was a hot month for the diminutive forward. He wasn’t living off of power play production as he has at times and while he played with an edge, he also managed to stay out of the penalty box. His final regular season numbers are similar to those of 2013-14 but he has taken some steps forward this season even if the numbers don’t show it.
Stats: 10 GP, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, even rating, 0 PIMS
3rd Star: Jeremy Gregoire (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) – Not surprisingly, his numbers have cooled after what was a fantastic start to his season but he remains a dominant player on both sides of the puck. He’s the type of player who should find another level to his game for the playoffs when the intensity picks up, making him one to watch as the postseason progresses.
Stats: 10 GP, 7 goals, 5 assists, 12 points, -1 rating, 13 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Brett Lernout (Swift Current, WHL) – This mention is more for his overall effort on the season than everything else. He made big strides forward both offensively and defensively while becoming more and more disciplined as the season progressed. In the postseason, his team was battling some injuries on the back end which thrust him into logging huge minutes and he didn’t look out of place while doing so. It will be interesting to see if he gets much of an opportunity as he finishes out the season with Hamilton.
Stats: 13 GP, 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, -9 rating, 10 PIMS