With the season now over for the IceCaps, it’s time to reflect on the year (and playoffs) as a whole. Here are our final grades for 2016-17 with a focus on the forwards.
Players must have played in at least 20/76 regular season games to receive a grade. Traded/released players are not listed even if they saw action in 20 or more contests.
Chris Terry – A: The Habs brought him in to be a top scorer at the AHL level and he did exactly that, leading the team in scoring while finishing second league-wide in points. Towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, Terry slowed down at the worst possible time but that can’t entirely shift the focus away from what was a very strong season. He’s signed for next season and assuming he makes it through waivers again, Terry should be the go-to scorer in Laval.
Season Stats: 58 GP, 30 goals, 38 assists, 68 points, even rating, 36 PIMS, 190 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, even rating, 4 PIMS, 16 shots
Charles Hudon – A: Hudon didn’t take any major steps forward in 2016-17 but he didn’t really need to either. He remained one of the top scoring threats in the league and played more than well enough to warrant a longer look with Montreal. The fact he didn’t really get one still remains puzzling. Unlike Terry, it’s not likely that Hudon will be back as it’s hard to imagine a young, consistent goal scorer at the AHL level making it through waivers in October.
Season Stats: 56 GP, 27 goals, 22 assists, 49 points, +3 rating, 52 PIMS, 161 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 13 shots
Bobby Farnham – B: He was signed to be a protector for when things got out of control as they tend to do in the minors but by the end of the year, Farnham was pretty much a key cog for them. He held his own in a defensive role while he doubled his career high in points as well. He’s set to be an unrestricted free agent but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Habs try to keep Farnham in the fold for next season.
Season Stats: 71 GP, 11 goals, 17 assists, 28 points, +10 rating, 137 PIMS, 93 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 8 shots
Michael McCarron – B: McCarron came close to matching his point per game total from his rookie season and considering how he finished that freshman year, that’s not half bad. However, he also did little to suggest that there’s a lot more development left in his offensive game which certainly isn’t what the organization was hoping for. McCarron can cut it as an NHL player but it’s looking more and more like it will be in a depth role and not any sort of impact one.
Season Stats: 32 GP, 7 goals, 12 assists, 19 points, -7 rating, 66 PIMS, 73 shots
Playoff Stats: 2 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -2 rating, 6 PIMS, 4 shots
Anthony Camara – B: Camara went from a random fill-in who was brought in to be a filler for a few games when the team was hit hard by injuries and recalls to one who played more often than not down the stretch and into the postseason. The offensive upside he showed in junior hasn’t translated but he’s a serviceable fourth liner that probably has done enough to earn a minor league contract for next year.
Season Stats: 23 GP, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, +1 rating, 8 PIMS, 25 shots
Playoff Stats: 3 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, even rating, 4 PIMS, 1 shot
Jacob de la Rose – B-: It was a tale of two halves for the former second rounder. In the first half, de la Rose was very quiet and it looked like he could be playing his way out of the future plans before too long. That all changed in the second half where he started to really improve his offensive game and this time, the Habs left him down there to build on it and he did just that. He’s not likely to get through waivers next year so assuming he’s still with the team after the summer, de la Rose will make a push for a fourth line spot in Montreal.
Season Stats: 62 GP, 14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points, -3 rating, 38 PIMS, 110 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -1 rating, 6 PIMS, 8 shots
Nikita Scherbak – B-: The inconsistency from game to game and shift to shift is still there at times. The defensive struggles are still there at times. However, they’re not occurring quite as frequently while Scherbak also became more of a threat offensively compared to his rookie season. There’s still a long way to go but he still has two years left on his entry-level deal; it’s not as if he has to be in the NHL right away. A lot of work is still needed but there is still some upside here.
Season Stats: 66 GP, 13 goals, 28 assists, 41 points, -2 rating, 32 PIMS, 115 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, even rating, 4 PIMS, 5 shots
Yannick Veilleux – B-: He was a surprise cut at the end of training camp but it didn’t take too long for Veilleux to make his way up and earn a full-time lineup spot. The IceCaps used him in a variety of roles and he was passable in pretty much all of them. He might be a candidate to look for a job overseas but if not, he’s worthy of another minor league deal as Veilleux is certainly a quality depth option to have around.
Season Stats: 53 GP, 6 goals, 10 assists, 16 points, +6 rating, 55 PIMS, 59 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1 rating, 4 PIMS, 4 shots
Daniel Audette – C+: The final numbers aren’t half bad for a rookie but it has to be noted that he was gifted a lot of top six ice time that he didn’t exactly earn early on. As the team got healthier, he settled into a third line role which is a better spot for him. That said, they will need Audette to be a lot more consistent and productive performer next season as the expected departures will likely result in him seeing a lot of top six time again.
Season Stats: 75 GP, 10 goals, 20 assists, 30 points, -7 rating, 37 PIMS, 104 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, -2 rating, 0 PIMS, 2 shots
Max Friberg – C: Friberg was by all accounts a quality captain and was a strong part of St. John’s checking line. However, he also pretty well played himself out of having any sort of NHL future. The offensive game he had with Anaheim wasn’t there for most of the year and after four full minor league seasons, being a decent checker isn’t good enough. He saw the writing on the wall and signed a three year deal with Frolunda in Sweden starting next season.
Season Stats: 71 GP, 11 goals, 20 assists, 31 points, -3 rating, 18 PIMS, 101 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 9 shots
Stefan Matteau – C: For most of the year, Matteau was pretty much a non-factor, aside from some untimely dumb penalties. He did, however, start to pick up his play down the stretch and was arguably St. John’s best player in the postseason. That might be enough to convince management he’s worthy of one last contract to see if he can finally start to put it all together. If not, he won’t be a huge loss for Laval.
Season Stats: 67 GP, 12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points, -3 rating, 122 PIMS, 120 shots
Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points, even rating, 2 PIMS, 16 shots
Markus Eisenschmid: C-: He got off to a good start and earned himself an entry-level contract in the process. As soon as that happened though, things started to go off the rails. Eisenschmid missed a lot of time due to injury and then when he was healthy, he was a frequent scratch (which is puzzling considering how rarely he was scratched before he officially became a Montreal prospect). The bottom six will likely lose a few players this summer which should open up a full-time spot for Eisenschmid next season.
Season Stats: 39 GP, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, +4 rating, 12 PIMS, 60 shots
Playoff Stats: DNP
Mark MacMillan – D+: After a mediocre rookie season, MacMillan needed to take a big step forward this year. That didn’t happen. He remained a fourth line fixture for most of the year and started to spend time as a scratch as the team started to get back to full strength. The signing of Niki Petti to a minor league deal may wind up spelling the end for MacMillan as it’s not looking likely that he’ll receive a qualifying offer.
Season Stats: 58 GP, 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points, -6 rating, 12 PIMS, 56 shots
Playoff Stats: 3 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, even rating, 2 PIMS, 0 shots
Jeremy Gregoire – D+: Most of the comments for MacMillan apply here. Gregoire needed a bigger year, didn’t have it, and wound up being scratched at times towards the end of the season while seldom moving off the fourth line when he was in the lineup. Gregoire has one more year left on his deal but he is going to have to show that he can be more than just a 8-10 minute per game energy player.
Season Stats: 56 GP, 9 goals, 3 assists, 12 points, -2 rating, 78 PIMS, 73 shots
Playoff Stats: DNP
David Broll – D: He was signed to be a fourth line tough guy and he was okay in that role. However, the team realized Broll wasn’t needed too often down the stretch which makes it even more puzzling why they handed him a new deal for next year. He’ll be a depth player once again in Laval.
Season Stats: 54 GP, 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points, -7 rating, 115 PIMS, 46 shots
Playoff Stats: DNP
N/A: Sven Andrighetto (traded), Daniel Carr (19 GP),Connor Crisp (7 GP), Brandon MacLean (released), John McCarron (released), Niki Petti (4 GP plus 3 playoff GP) Alexandre Ranger (released)