Several St. John’s forwards got off to strong starts to the season as the offence has been better than expected at times. Those players get the top billing in our first quarter grades for their forwards.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
[Click here to read the grades for the defencemen and goalies.]
Sven Andrighetto – A: After clearing waivers, there was no drop-off in his game or any sort of time needed to adjust to being back in the minors. Instead, Andrighetto picked up where he left off last season, as a legitimate front liner hovering around the point-per-game mark. He has shown he’s too good for the AHL level (it just unfortunately hasn’t worked out too well for him so far with Montreal).
Stats: 13 GP, 5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points, +1 rating, 6 PIMS, 40 shots
Charles Hudon – A: One of the goals for Hudon this year should be to prove early that he’s too good to be an AHL regular. Mission accomplished. For the third straight season now, Hudon is scoring early and often and has brought his best game most nights. There’s not much more he can do to show Montreal management that he’s worthy of more than just a brief cameo appearance with the Habs.
Stats: 15 GP, 9 goals, 5 assists, 14 points, -1 rating, 20 PIMS, 41 shots
Nikita Scherbak – A-: The negatives are still there with him, primarily his tendency to coast in terms of his effort level and a lack of consistent attention to his defensive responsibilities. However, he has taken some steps forward in terms of his offensive game and is becoming one of St. John’s top scoring threats. Given the role he had last season, this is still a nice step in the right direction.
Stats: 19 GP, 8 goals, 7 assists, 15 points, even rating, 10 PIMS, 33 shots
Chris Terry – B+: He was brought into essentially replace Bud Holloway and in terms of his production, he has done that quite well. I thought he’d be a bit more involved on the defensive side of things though, especially given the fact that he has been more of a defensive player at the NHL level. If that eventually happens, he’ll be a great two-way threat for the IceCaps.
Stats: 14 GP, 5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points, -2 rating, 10 PIMS, 36 shots
Markus Eisenschmid – B: Locked into a bottom six role (mostly the fourth line), Eisenschmid has been one of St. John’s more reliable checkers early on. It was around this time last year that Sylvain Lefebvre started to play him more and it will be interesting to see if history repeats itself this time around. He’s not flashy but he has been effective.
Stats: 16 GP, 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points, +1 rating, 6 PIMS, 22 shots
Stefan Matteau – B-: For someone who should be looking to make an impression to get back to the NHL, he hasn’t been going about it the right way as he’s most notable when he’s taking bad penalties. Offensively he has been decent (even after considering the empty net goals he has) and he has done fairly well as a checker which should help his chances of getting called up but the bar should be higher than this at this stage of his career.
Stats: 17 GP, 6 goals, 3 assists, 9 points, -2 rating, 38 PIMS, 26 shots
Bobby Farnham – C+: As far being an energy player, Farnham has been somewhat effective this season while he has contributed a bit offensively as well. Discipline has always been an issue with him and that has come into play a couple of times. They’ve experimented with him on the shutdown line at times and he has held his own. As a result, he’s starting to see a bit of time in the top six.
Stats: 19 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, -2 rating, 40 PIMS, 25 shots
Michael McCarron – C: Unfortunately for McCarron, his early season play has been much like the second half of last year where he was very quiet at the offensive end and was more of a secondary player than a go-to guy. He’s facing a lot of top opponents and getting plenty of reps in at the faceoff dot which is still good for his development but if he wants to make a case to show he’s more than a bottom six player in the NHL, he needs to produce at higher than a bottom six level in the minors.
Stats: 17 GP, 2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points, -5 rating, 38 PIMS, 33 shots
Max Friberg – C: The captain is off to a slow start this year. He has been used primarily as a checker but given that this is his fifth AHL season, it’s fair to expect him to bring a bit more offensively to the table even in a defensive role. He has the capability to be an impact player at both ends of the rink but so far, he has been more of a depth piece than a core one.
Stats: 15 GP, 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points, -4 rating, 2 PIMS, 24 shots
Jacob de la Rose – C-: After two years in the AHL, the hope was that he’d finally take a step forward offensively. That hasn’t happened. There’s no doubting that de la Rose is still a key defensive player for St. John’s and he’s playing with a bit more physicality as well. But it’s looking more and more like there is no tangible offensive upside and that he will be predominantly a fourth line checker in the NHL.
Stats: 15 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -4 rating, 12 PIMS, 18 shots
Daniel Audette – C-: He has been gifted a near-permanent top six spot while more talented players have been shifted into lesser roles and has little to show for it. Even though Audette isn’t useful defensively, they shouldn’t be throwing him out with their top players every night just because there isn’t anywhere else to put him. While the preferential treatment he’s receiving so far isn’t the slightest bit surprising, it certainly is disappointing since he’s not doing much with it.
Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -2 rating, 8 PIMS, 19 shots
Jeremy Gregoire – C-: After a weaker than expected rookie season, Gregoire’s sophomore campaign hasn’t been much better. He had some difficultly even cracking the lineup early on and has been in a fourth line role almost exclusively. He’s a feisty player but the rest of his game really isn’t developing, at least to the point where he could be considered as a call-up.
Stats: 13 GP, 3 goals, 0 assists, 3 points, +3 rating, 18 PIMS, 11 shots
David Broll – D+: On the one hand, he’s living up to his role so far. On the other hand, his role is to basically fight and try not to screw up too badly the rest of the time so even doing well at his job is virtually irrelevant. The fact that the IceCaps are sitting prospects to keep him in the lineup every night is absolutely ridiculous. Heck, if they want another tough guy in the lineup, they could just play the prospect enforcer (Connor Crisp) instead of sitting him almost every game. They wouldn’t be any weaker for it, that’s for sure.
Stats: 16 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, -1 rating, 37 PIMS, 14 shots
Mark MacMillan – D+: Like Gregoire, his rookie year was a disappointment and things aren’t going any better this season. He too has had difficulties cracking the lineup and has been a fourth liner most nights when he is in. For someone that’s set to turn 25 next month, having that limited of a role simply isn’t good enough.
Stats: 14 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -2 rating, 4 PIMS, 12 shots
N/A: Daniel Carr (3 GP), Connor Crisp (3 GP)