February wasn’t a great month for the Habs and it wasn’t much better for most of their prospects. A handful of players stood out among the rest and are featured in our February 3 Stars.
1st Star: Daniel Audette – With injuries and recalls taking out most of the top line, Audette was the beneficiary of a promotion and while he didn’t dominate by any stretch, he managed to step up his game (something that can’t be said for most of the team). He hasn’t progressed a ton this year but he hasn’t regressed either so he has had at least a small step in the right direction.
Stats: 9 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, 3 rating, 21 shots, 4 PIMS
2nd Star: Adam Cracknell – The lone survivor of the top line wasn’t quite as productive without Chris Terry (injured) and Nikita Scherbak (recalled) but he still held his own and was their top centre overall. I’d still like to see him get a look with the Habs for a couple of games down the stretch – I like to see good play rewarded and he has certainly earned it.
Stats: 9 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -3 rating, 24 shots, 2 PIMS
3rd Star: Jordan Boucher – The rookie has really stepped it up as of late and has earned himself some time in the top-six, leapfrogging more established players in the process. At 24, he is past the age where it’s worth giving him an NHL contract but he is playing himself into another AHL deal for next season if nothing else.
Stats: 9 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, +6 rating, 23 shots, 4 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Michael McCarron – His inclusion here isn’t a sign that he’s playing all that well overall but is more due to the fact that very few players actually played well last month and he’s the best of the ones not already mentioned. For a third-year pro, he is becoming less and less of a factor overall although he at least picked up the pace slightly in February which was enough to earn him this placement.
Stats: 9 GP, 2 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, -1 rating, 17 shots, 24 PIMS
1st Star: Cayden Primeau (Northeastern, NCAA) – What a month he had. Primeau was virtually unbeatable and I don’t just mean in the win-loss column. In the span of months, he has gone from a platoon starter to one of the top goalies at the college level and is looking like quite the steal as a late seventh-round pick.
Stats: 8 GP, 6-1-1 record (the second one is a tie), 1.26 GAA, .961 SV%, 3 SO
2nd Star: Hayden Hawkey (Providence, NCAA) – While his overall numbers pale in comparison to Primeau’s, Hawkey had a pretty strong month of February in his own right. He isn’t in the top tier of goalies nation-wide but he has established himself as a quality starter. With Charlie Lindgren likely being in Montreal next season, will the Habs try to sign Hawkey a year early to take his place in the minors?
Stats: 6 GP, 3-2-1 record (the one is a tie), 1.97 GAA, .923 SV%, 0 SO
3rd Star: Jake Evans (Notre Dame, NCAA) – It took a while for Evans to really get going again after his time with Canada at the Spengler Cup but he took some steps in that direction last month, especially at the end. He’s certainly under a fair bit of pressure – not only is he in the midst of his final postseason push at the college level but he will soon have to decide whether or not he’s signing with the Habs to finish the year or opting for free agency.
Stats: 8 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, -3 rating, 32 shots, 6 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Josh Brook (Moose Jaw, WHL) – The point production has cooled off a bit compared to when he first returned but that was to be expected. His overall effectiveness hasn’t changed, however. Brook continues to be quite strong in his own end and is playing a big role in Moose Jaw’s first-place run this season.
Stats: 13 GP, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points, +10 rating, 29 shots, 12 PIMS