The scoring struggles weren’t just limited to the Habs back in December as quite a few of their prospects struggled to produce as well. Nonetheless, there were a few players who were able to stand out amongst the rest.
St. John’s IceCaps
1st Star: Gabriel Dumont – Some players were good for a few games and struggled in others but Dumont was one of the few that consistently was a threat for St. John’s, picking up points in seven of eleven games. After a slow start to the season, the captain has picked up his play.
Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, -5 rating, 27 shots, 12 PIMS
2nd Star: Bud Holloway – It was a tale of two halves for Holloway. In the first half of December, he struggled badly. In the second half, he was a point per game player which happened to coincide with the IceCaps picking up their play as a team. With all the issues with Montreal’s right wing, Holloway could very well be next on the call-up list again.
Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, -2 rating, 24 shots, 4 PIMS
3rd Star: Michael Bournival – After not playing for so long, I was expecting there to be more rust from Bournival but after a couple of so-so games to start, he has been one of St. John’s better players. His speed is a major weapon and as he gets more game action, I expect his skill game (which have been above average in the minors in stints the past two years) to pick up as well.
Stats: 8 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, -3 rating, 23 shots, 6 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Darren Dietz – After a slow start to the season, Dietz has started to pick it up over the last few weeks. He’s getting more involved offensively (he had nearly as many shots in December as October/November combined) and is taking on a bigger role overall (he now is a regular on the top pairing). With Mark Barberio up with the big club, Dietz will need to step it up again as he has become the #1 by default.
Stats: 11 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, +1 rating, 25 shots, 4 PIMS
1st Star: Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) – He missed the month of November due to injury but that didn’t stop Audette from picking up right where he left off as he hovered near the 1.5 PPG mark for the month. With his team struggling and the fact that Audette will be turning pro next season, it would seem likely that the Phoenix will be looking to move him before the QMJHL’s trade deadline.
Stats: 9 GP, 3 goals, 10 assists, -3 rating, 30 shots, 14 PIMS, 75/159 faceoffs (47.2%)
2nd Star: Matt Bradley (Medicine Hat, WHL) – It was expected that 2015-16 would be Bradley’s breakout season offensively but that hadn’t been the case early on. That changed a bit in December as he was one of the Tigers’ top players and produced with consistency (points in nine of twelve games to close the month). Medicine Hat is a score-by-committee team so it will be interesting to see if Bradley can build on this or if he’ll go back to being a secondary scorer for them.
Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points, -3 rating, 15 PIMS
3rd Star: Artturi Lehkonen (Frolunda, SHL) – It was a busy month for the former second round pick as not only did Lehkonen suit up in regular league play but there was also the Champions League plus another international tournament. Lehkonen continues to impress in the Swedish League (he was a bit quieter in the other two) and now finds himself hovering near the top-10 in overall scoring. It’s not surprising that Frolunda moved quickly to sign him for another season.
Stats: SHL – 7 GP, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, +8 rating, 13 shots, 2 PIMS
Champions League: 2 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, +2 rating, 0 PIMS
Channel One Cup: 3 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Martin Reway (Fribourg, NLA) – Offensively, Reway continues to impress regardless of what league or level he plays at. Unfortunately, his play in his own end continues to be sporadic. But, in a month where there weren’t a whole lot of positives for the prospects elsewhere, his play was still good enough to land on our list for December.
Stats: 8 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, -6 rating, 10 PIMS