November was a relatively quiet month for Laval but the same can’t be said for several of Montreal’s junior prospects who had standout showings, earning them a spot in the three stars of the month.
1st Star: Laurent Dauphin – There haven’t been many consistent players this season for the Rocket but Dauphin has been one of them. He largely has been in a role that isn’t best suited for him as he’s more of a checker than a scorer. The end result was Dauphin producing more than expected but his line struggling as a whole. Nonetheless, in a month where things didn’t go well for Laval, that’s enough to earn the top spot for the month.
Stats: 10 GP, 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points, -8 rating, 32 shots, 8 PIMS
2nd Star: Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Easily Laval’s most unheralded blueliner, Paquette-Bisson has worked his way up from being a depth player to one who is seeing a lot of minutes. Part of that is due to injuries and recalls but part of it is from him being reliable defensively while chipping in with a few points here and there as well. Does he have NHL upside? I’m not really sure about that but even if he doesn’t, he’s quickly becoming an important player for the Rocket.
Stats: 9 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, even rating, 15 shots, 2 PIMS
3rd Star: Cole Caufield – His time with Laval was relatively short and while he underperformed relative to expectations, those expectations were also through the roof. He was average to decent in most of his games with his last one being an impressive one, earning a recall back in the process. Despite being quieter than many expected, he had the highest point per game average for any Laval player last month.
Stats: 6 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, -6 rating, 24 shots, 0 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Jesse Ylonen – He missed a couple of games due to COVID protocol (it isn’t an issue for him any longer) but he was still one of Laval’s top producers in the month. He has been quiet as well in terms of standing out but the production has been decent. That’s a good sign too, finding ways to get on the scoresheet consistently even when you’re not at your best is the hallmark of a quality prospect.
Stats: 8 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -6 rating, 22 shots, 6 PIMS
1st Star: Joshua Roy (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) – Some players will talk about how they learned a hard lesson and then do nothing about it. Roy, who went much later in the draft than he was expecting to, isn’t one of those. His improved conditioning was in fine form with the Phoenix as he pushed himself to the top of the leaderboard at times in league scoring while earning an invite to Canada’s training camp.
Stats: 10 GP, 7 goals, 13 assists, 20 points, +6 rating, 32 shots, 2 PIMS
2nd Star: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay, OHL) – The Battalion had an impressive month in the standings and the 2021 seventh-rounder had a lot to do with it. The team recorded at least a point in all eight of his starts while Vrbetic did well enough to earn Goalie of the Month. Montreal has had good luck with seventh-rounders in recent years, could he be another of those?
Stats: 8 GP, 6-0-2 record, 2.09 GAA, .917 SV%
3rd Star: Jan Mysak (Hamilton, OHL) – This was more the type of performance I was expecting from Mysak after a year in the pros. At this stage of his development, he should be standing out most nights and he did just that, averaging over a goal per game while logging heavy minutes on the top line for the Bulldogs.
Stats: 10 GP, 11 goals, 7 assists, 18 points, +5 rating, 42 shots, 0 PIMS, 117/208 faceoffs (56.3%)
Honourable Mention: Xavier Simoneau (Charlottetown, QMJHL) – Overagers are always hard to evaluate in junior. The numbers are often gaudy but they’re supposed to be. This makes it tough to rate Simoneau here. He played extremely well, averaging over two points per game but since he’s older than pretty much everyone else in that league, his performance – while certainly impressive – isn’t quite enough to push him past the other three in what was a strong month for several Montreal prospects.
Stats: 9 GP, 4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points, +6 rating, 24 shots, 19 PIMS