Despite a largely-depleted roster, St. John’s put forth a pretty good December while several goalie prospects had big months as well. Here are our Prospect 3 Stars for the month.
St. John’s IceCaps
1st Star: Chris Terry – It’s not often that I give the first star of the month to a player who barely played in half the games but Terry’s play is worthy of the exception. He tied for the team lead in scoring despite playing in only six games and was giving them a legitimate top line threat to work with. The only real blemish on the month for him was that Terry’s collision with Charles Hudon is what has Hudon on the sidelines.
Stats: 6 GP, 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points, -3 rating, 2 PIMS, 22 shots
2nd Star: Daniel Audette – I’ve been critical of his play so far this year but I’m happy to see that he’s starting to take advantage of the playing time he has been gifted lately. He’s one of the few offensive threats the IceCaps have thanks to injuries and recalls and so far at least, Audette is stepping up to meet the challenge. That’s always a good thing to see from a rookie.
Stats: 11 GP, 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points, even rating, 4 PIMS, 19 shots
3rd Star: Jacob de la Rose – Although it took him way too long to finally get a goal (he scored for the first time all season last month), de la Rose has been showing signs of offensive improvement in recent weeks. He’s in a top six role thanks to all the missing players and is on a line that’s doubling as the checking unit as well so he’s doing a bit of everything right now. I like that the Habs are leaving him down there while he’s doing well to see if he can build on it compared to past years where they brought him up at the first sign of offensive progression.
Stats: 11 GP, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, -1 rating, 8 PIMS, 14 shots
Honourable Mention: Sven Andrighetto – When he played (which wasn’t often at all thanks to the Habs valuing him as a healthy scratch with the big club), Andrighetto was a force. He’s a legitimate top line talent at the AHL level but he’s running out of chances to prove it in the NHL.
Stats: 3 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -4 rating, 0 PIMS, 12 shots
1st Star: Zach Fucale (Brampton, ECHL) – Wins and losses don’t often tell the tale (look no further than Fucale’s junior record) but any time a starting goalie goes undefeated in a month as a professional, it’s certainly noteworthy. He didn’t allow more than three goals in any single appearance with the Beast or with Canada at the Spengler Cup where he was impressive; that type of strong consistency carried over into 2017 would go a long way towards re-establishing himself as a quality prospect.
Stats: (ECHL) 10 GP, 8-0-0 record, 2.25 GAA, .927 SV%, 1 SO
(Spengler Cup) 4 GP, 4-0-0 record, 2.00 GAA, .934 SV%, 0 SO
2nd Star: Victor Mete (London, OHL) – Although he was the first cut on the back end from Canada’s World Junior entry, he hasn’t let that affect his play. A big finish to the month had Mete as one of just four OHL blueliners to average at least a point per game as of the end of the calendar year (three if you consider that one of those four has played in less than ten games due to injury). His offensive progression isn’t coming at the expense of his play in his own end either which is very encouraging to see.
Stats: 7 GP, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, +1 rating, 4 PIMS, 33 shots
3rd Star: Hayden Hawkey (Providence, NCAA) – While Montreal’s other goalie prospects have garnered most of the attention, Hawkey is quietly putting together a solid sophomore season at the college ranks. He has started every game this season and in December, put forth the best month of his NCAA career while showing he’s still capable of handling a starting job, something that was at least a little bit in question after injuries derailed his 2014-15 season while he spent most of 2015-16 in a backup role.
Stats: 6 GP, 3-1-2 record (the 2 are ties, not overtime/shootout losses), 1.43 GAA, .947 SV%, 0 SO
Honourable Mention: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound, OHL) – To say he responded well after being cut from Canada’s World Junior team would be an understatement. In three games since returning to the Attack, McNiven allowed all of one goal. He has solidified himself as one of the top goalies in junior hockey this season (and evidently has made Don Cherry a fan).
Stats: 6 GP, 4-2-0 record, 1.98 GAA, .923 SV%, 2 SO