With several prospects getting ousted early in the postseason, there aren’t many players to choose from in our April 3 Stars but several stood out amongst the rest.
St. John’s IceCaps
1st Star: Charles Hudon – After a quieter month of March, Hudon finished up the regular season on a high note and was able to at least somewhat carry that over into the playoffs. He finished in the top ten in goals league-wide for the second straight season which should only bolster his case to be an NHL player, either with Montreal or elsewhere.
Reg. Season Stats: 7 GP, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, even rating, 15 shots, 6 PIMS
Postseason Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, -1 rating, 13 shots, 2 PIMS
2nd Star: Charlie Lindgren – He didn’t spend much time with St. John’s late in the year since he was up with Montreal (where he fared pretty well) but had a couple of key victories to help secure a playoff spot. Lindgren also played quite well against the Crunch in the playoffs and kept them in every game, something that didn’t seen too likely when the series began.
Reg. Season Stats: 3 GP, 2-1-0 record, 1.67 GAA, .938 SV%, 1 SO
Postseason Stats: 4 GP, 1-1-2 record, 2.21 GAA, .922 SV%, 0 SO
3rd Star: Chris Terry – Like Hudon, Terry wrapped up the regular season on a hot streak after a quiet March and worked his way back into second overall in league scoring. However, he wasn’t able to sustain that in the playoffs as despite generating a lot of shots on goal, he was mostly held off the scoresheet. (That sounds largely familiar for some reason…)
Reg. Season Stats: 7 GP, 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points, +1 rating, 24 shots, 6 PIMS
Postseason Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, even rating, 13 shots, 2 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Jacob de la Rose – The offence has rarely been there with consistency which is a big reason why de la Rose was in the minors as his entry-level deal was expiring. However, he took some strides in that area down the stretch and carried that over into the playoffs while also playing a primary checking role. If he can find a way to continue that in training camp, he’ll greatly help his chances of making the big club.
Reg. Season Stats: 7 GP, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, even rating, 19 shots, 4 PIMS
Postseason Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -1 rating, 8 shots, 6 PIMS
Pickings are largely slim here as many players were eliminated early in April but a few were still kicking around for most of the month.
(All statistics are for the playoffs unless otherwise noted.)
1st Star: Zach Fucale (Brampton, ECHL) – While Fucale has flown under the radar for most of the year, he’s certainly getting himself back on the map with his postseason performance (along with a strong spot start with St. John’s where he earned a shutout). He’s off to a very good start to his postseason although the Beast are currently in tough against Manchester.
Stats: 7 GP, 5-2-0 record, 1.40 GAA, .956 SV%, 0 SO
2nd Star: Simon Bourque (Saint John, QMJHL) – Bourque isn’t logging as much ice time as he was early on but he’s certainly making the most of it. Buoyed by a loaded roster, the Sea Dogs have largely gone uninhibited through the first three rounds of the postseason. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Bourque become the third Montreal prospect to play in the Memorial Cup later this month.
Stats: 10 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, +9 rating, 27 shots, 10 PIMS
3rd Star: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound, OHL) – It’s a tale of two series for the OHL’s Goalie of the Year. In the second round against the Soo, he was quite sharp, allowing just 12 goals in six games. In the third round against Erie, that wasn’t exactly the case as the Otters lit him up for 25 tallies in just six contests. It’s not the greatest way for his season (and, most likely, his junior career) to end but it wasn’t a terrible month either.
Stats: 12 GP, 6-6-0 record, 3.20 GAA, .902 SV%, 1 SO
Honourable Mention: Connor Crisp (Brampton, ECHL) – Another player that has largely been under the radar since getting sent down, Crisp went on a nice little run at the end of the year and has picked up a few points in the postseason as well. It won’t be enough to earn him another NHL deal but maybe his finish might convince the team to pursue him on a minor league pact for next year.
Reg. Season Stats: 4 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, +1 rating, 12 shots, 11 PIMS
Postseason Stats: 8 GP, 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points, -1 rating, 22 shots, 12 PIMS