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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
Part 4 in our series takes us to the halfway point of the 2011 prospect rankings. This grouping consists primarily of unsigned prospects and brings an international flavour to the table as four different countries are represented here. As is the case with the 26-30 group, most of these players qualify as long-term projects.
This year, we changed things up a little. The top-10 have been voted on by members of our HW writing staff while the remainder of the rankings were done by yours truly. Here are the criteria that each player had to meet to be eligible to be in these rankings:
1) The player must be 24 years old or younger as of October 1, 2011
2) The player must have no greater than 40 games of NHL experience (including regular season and playoffs)
3) The player has to be signed on an NHL contract
As the Habs brought several youngsters up last season, this year's list will look a lot different as many of the top prospects are no longer eligible. Here are the departures from last year's list:
Graduated: David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Frederic St. Denis, P.K.
Subban, Yannick Weber, Ryan White, Alexei Yemelin
Released: Patrick Johnson, Petteri Simila, J.T. Wyman
Traded: Mathieu Carle, Ben Maxwell, Ryan Russell
#25) Steve Quailer
Right Wing, Northeastern, H-East (NCAA)
3rd round pick (86th overall) in 2008
No one really knew what to expect from the 6'4 winger last year as he was coming back from missing all of 2009-10 due to an injury. He had an up-and-down campaign on the scoresheet but at the very least managed to play in every game which is a positive sign. He still has a pair of years of college eligibility left after being redshirted for his injury season so the Habs can afford to be patient with his development. If he can stay healthy, he does project as a power forward given his hands and size.
2010-11 Stats: 38 GP, 3-10-13, 39 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: 19th
#24) Alain Berger
Right Wing, Oshawa, OHL
Undrafted free agent signing in 2011
The Habs dipped into the OHL free agent pool just before the playoffs started and landed themselves an intriguing prospect. He has size and a decent scoring touch (3rd on the Generals in goals) but is a little behind in the development curve having spent just two years in the OHL (he played the bulk of his time previously in the Swiss second division). He'll be battling for one of the final wing spots in Hamilton; if he doesn't get one there, he'll log significant minutes for Wheeling in the East Coast League.
2010-11 Stats: 65 GP, 29-23-52, 86 PIMS, +16
Previous HW Ranking: N/A
#23) Daniel Pribyl
Centre, Sparta Praha U20, Czech U20
6th round pick (168th overall) in 2011
The World Junior Inline champion was one of Montreal's more popular picks from the most recent draft given his well rounded range of offensive skills and the fact he managed to see some time in the top league in the Czech Republic last season. Still, there is a reason he fell to the Habs at 168th overall so fans should keep their expectations tempered. The hope is that Pribyl can make the full time jump to the top division this year while contending for a spot at the World Juniors.
2010-11 Stats: 41 GP, 27-31-58, 22 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: N/A
#22) Mark MacMillan
Centre, Penticton, BCHL
4th round pick (113th overall) in 2010
MacMillan's season started off nicely as he got dealt to his hometown team while getting off to a hot start before being hit with an injury that cost him about a third of the season. Despite the setback, he still managed to finish 3rd in team scoring. He's now off to North Dakota (where he'll join Danny Kristo) where one of the biggest things will be to bulk up as he weighs in at just 160 pounds. Like several of Montreal's later NCAA-bound picks, he may very well be a four year player at the collegiate level.
2010-11 Stats: 40 GP, 21-36-57, 43 PIMS
Previous HW Ranking: 23rd
#21) Ian Schultz
Right Wing, Hamilton, AHL
3rd round pick (87th overall) in 2008 (acquired via trade from St. Louis)
To call 2010-11 a disappointment would be an understatement for the physical forward. It was hoped that his offensive game from junior would come with him to the next level but instead he struggled to stay in the lineup where he provided very little aside from the odd fight. He did improve as the season went on and had more of a regular role in the postseason which should help his chances of cracking a deeper Bulldogs squad this season. There were hopes he'd be NHL ready in a hurry but those have long been put to rest.
2010-11 Stats: 45 GP, 3-1-4, 49 PIMS, -5
Previous HW Ranking: 15th
- 2011 HW Prospect Rankings: 1-5 posted by B. La Rose
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- 2011 HW Prospect Rankings: 31-35 posted by B. La Rose
- 2011 HW Prospect Rankings: 36-40 posted by B. La Rose