The month of February saw some Montreal prospects put up some stellar offensive performances while between the pipes, one youngster continued his strong junior season. Here are our 3 Stars.
St. John’s IceCaps
1st Star: Chris Terry – The Habs gave Terry a pricey two-way contract to have him be a go-to scorer with St. John’s. He did exactly that and more last month as he not only led the team in scoring, he also had more points than anyone else in the entire AHL. He earned the nod for Player of the Month league-wide so naturally, he takes the first star of the month here as well. Fortunately for fans in Laval, he’ll be sticking around for another year after signing a contract extension last week.
Stats: 12 GP, 9 goals, 9 assists, 18 points, +9 rating, 8 PIMS, 46 shots
2nd Star: Charles Hudon – Most months, his performance would be enough to warrant the top spot in the 3 Stars (or even AHL Player of the Month). Hudon and Terry formed an elite duo that was unmatched throughout the league and yet it still wasn’t enough for him to be recalled before or after the trade deadline.
Stats: 12 GP, 9 goals, 7 assists, 16 points, +10 rating, 8 PIMS, 33 shots
3rd Star: Nikita Scherbak – It took a while (too long, to be honest) for him to re-acclimate himself to the AHL and get over the disappointment of being sent down. Scherbak eventually got his confidence back and wound up being a solid fit on the top line alongside Terry and Hudon. I’d like to see a bit more in the goal scoring department from him down the stretch – there’s no way the other two can carry the IceCaps like this for another six weeks so players like Scherbak will have to pick up the slack.
Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 10 assists, 11 points, +5 rating, 10 PIMS, 28 shots
Honourable Mention: Ryan Johnston – Unlike Scherbak, there was a bit of a boost in Johnston’s play after being sent down as he finally started to become a bit more consistent of an offensive player. His defensive game isn’t going to be good enough on its own so he needs to be a key threat from the point to have a shot at getting another NHL look. The IceCaps are lacking a true threat offensively on the back end – the opportunity is there for Johnston to take it.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, +4 rating, 8 PIMS, 18 shots
1st Star: G Michael McNiven (Owen Sound, OHL) – Given the year he’s having, this is probably sounding repetitive but McNiven had yet another strong month with the Attack. It’s not as if he’s benefitting from being in a weak division either as Owen Sound is lumped in with two elite teams in Erie and London. With the OHL playoffs quickly approaching, McNiven will have plenty of pressure on his shoulders if they have plans to win a few rounds.
Stats: 11 GP, 8-2-1 record, 1.72 GAA, .936 SV%, 3 SO
2nd Star: D Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor, OHL) – Montreal’s top prospect didn’t do anything out of the ordinary last month when it came to his play – he just was at another level relative to many other players most of the time. It was intriguing to see that he was benched for penalty trouble late in February. One problem with players like Sergachev that aren’t good enough for the NHL but really too good for junior is that they’ll tend to slack off at times and this was one of them. How he responds (so far, so good) will be worth following.
Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points, +8 rating, 12 PIMS, 40 shots
3rd Star: D Simon Bourque (Saint John, QMJHL) – One of the downsides from his midseason move was that Bourque wouldn’t be the go-to player on the blueline moving forward. While that has been the case, it hasn’t stopped him from doing more with less ice time which is nice to see. He should be poised for a lengthy playoff run with the Sea Dogs as the top team in the ‘Q’ and the Habs have taken notice of his strong play this year as they gave him his entry-level deal earlier this week.
Stats: 12 GP, 4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points, +18 rating, 6 PIMS, 27 shots
Honourable Mention: F Matt Bradley (Medicine Hat, WHL) – One of the things I’m sure the Habs were wanting to see from him was offensive consistency. It wasn’t always there at the beginning of the year (even if the overall numbers were strong) but that’s the case now which is a nice sign. I’m still not sold that they’ll sign him though; I suspect their success (or lack thereof) in college/CHL free agency may wind up playing a role in whether or not he’s offered a contract.
Stats: 12 GP, 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points, +2 rating, 14 PIMS