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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.
The 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships have wrapped up and although none of the five Montreal prospects came away with gold medals, three of them still picked up a bronze. It was an up and down tournament for several of the prospects as some met their expectations while others didn't. Here are my assessments for each player.
Nathan Beaulieu (Canada): C- His inclusion on Team Canada was a surprise to some who thought they may go with more of an offensive or defensive specialist instead of a two-way guy. Sadly, he never seemed to get going as although he was a PP player for most of the tourney, he was near invisible on the scoresheet. Discipline was also a problem for him early on as he led all players in PIMS for a few days. The lack of hustle on the eventual Russia game winner seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of playing time; even with six defencemen against Finland, he saw very little ice time after the first period. There's still lots to like about his overall potential but this was not his finest couple of weeks.
Michael Bournival (Canada): C+ Expectations for the former Colorado third rounder weren't the highest as he was pegged as a fourth liner and stayed there throughout the tournament. He showed the same elements that had him fighting for a spot late in training camp with the Habs, decent speed and strong defensive hustle. His job was pretty much to provide effective enough shifts to give the other lines a breather somewhat regularly and he did that well. I was, however, hoping to see a bit more offensively from him given the sniping abilities he has displayed so far in the QMJHL season.
Brendan Gallagher (Canada): B+ Like Bournival, we saw the same attributes from Montreal's training camp. He hustles constantly, has no fear, and he still hasn't met a shot he doesn't like. His overall production was so-so especially considering he was on what was supposed to be the number one line but offence wasn't all that he brought to the team. He was an effective penalty killer and was often a sparkplug, especially in the semi-final against Russia. His penalty total (five minors in six games) is a little concerning but to his credit he did draw several to help offset them. All in all, a strong tournament for the smallest prospect in the Habs' organization.
Daniel Pribyl (Czech Republic): C For me, this is almost equivalent to an N/A as Pribyl really didn't play a whole lot. Instead of that though, I'll give him the old fashioned 'average' grade. He missed the first game due to injury then played sparingly the rest of the tourney due to that injury. There were some promising moments, especially with his puckhandling. His skating was clearly a step slow from the start (and it wasn't one of his strengths to begin with) which makes it hard to evaluate a good chunk of his game. He still got some valuable experience though which will come in handy for next year when he'll be a go-to guy for the Czechs.
Jarred Tinordi (United States): A- We all know Tinordi's game is about the exact opposite of 'flash and dash.' His role was to be a shutdown defenceman and play physically and he did that well enough to be named one of USA's top three players of the tournament. He was a minus player only once in six games while his overall rating of +7 was a defence high. Many fans were down on him after he wasn't exactly dominant in his first OHL season but this tournament showed how big of a step forward he has taken this year; his played the exact style London fans have loved all season long.
For each players' stats, check out our StatTracker, linked below.
- 2012 Habs WJHC StatTracker posted by B. La Rose