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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
The 2012-13 CHL season is now well underway and the early results have been positive for most of the Habs' junior-based prospects. All of them are playing important roles on their respective teams while all but one are either leading or are very close to leading their team in scoring. Here is a look at how each of Montreal's CHL prospects have fared so far this season.
Note: Stats are as of games played through October 24.
F Olivier Archambault, Drummondville: It hasn't been a flashy start to the campaign for the enigmatic forward but it has been an effective one. He has consistently found ways to get on the scoresheet, having picked up at least a point in 11 of 14 games so far. With two of the Voltigeurs' top three scorers from last season having graduated from the junior ranks, Archambault has seen his ice time and responsibilities increase considerably and so far, he has handled the extra work well.
Season Stats: 14 GP, 7 goals (team leader), 6 assists, 13 points, -2 rating, 8 PIMS, 43 shots
F Charles Hudon, Chicoutimi: Hudon got off to a terrific start with the Sagueneens with seven points in his first three games. Despite suffering a minor concussion a couple of weeks ago, he led the team in scoring until just a couple of days ago while sitting in the QMJHL's top-15 for much of that time. Interestingly enough, despite being able to play centre, he has exclusively been used on the left wing, having taken just eleven faceoffs all season (winning only two).
Season Stats: 11 GP, 9 goals (team leader), 7 assists, 16 points, +4 rating (tied for the team lead), 16 PIMS, 49 shots
F Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia: The third overall selection in June's draft had what could be called a bit of a slow start to the season as Galchenyuk adapted to being the player that opposing checkers keyed in on. In the month of October though, he has found his stride with twelve points in eight games to give him the team lead in scoring. On the negative side, Galchenyuk has only had a positive +/- rating twice so far this season.
Season Stats: 12 GP, 5 goals (tied for the team lead), 10 assists (team leader), 15 points (team leader), -4 rating, 6 PIMS
F Brady Vail, Windsor: The graduation/departures of several of Windsor's top scorers from last season moved Vail from a checking role into a scoring one. Suffice it to say, he has handled the new role seamlessly. Like Archambault, he has picked up at least a point in all but three games and had surpassed his rookie season stats by the 9th game of the year. Vail also is the Spitfires' top scorer and has sat in the top-20 in league scoring all season (he has been up as high as tied for second).
Season Stats: 13 GP, 6 goals, 10 assists (team leader), 16 points (team leader), -1 rating, 12 PIMS
F Tim Bozon, Kamloops: Last year, Patrick Holland was a prominent member of the WHL's top scoring line. This year, Bozon is that prospect as he is among the league leaders in goals and points. He kicked off the season with a hat trick and has been absolutely dominating in the month of October with 17 points in only eight games so far. The Blazers are the only team between the three junior leagues to not yet lose a game in regulation and Bozon has been a huge part of their success.
Season Stats: 13 GP, 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points, +10 rating, 10 PIMS
D Darren Dietz, Saskatoon: The Blades' season so far has been nothing short of dreadful as the Memorial Cup hosts sit two points out of dead last in their conference. Dietz has put up solid numbers this year (he sits fourth in team scoring, first among d-men) but his production has been sporadic. Still, he has been one of Saskatoon's better defencemen overall and will play an integral role in them trying to turn their season around.
Season Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals (all on the PP, leads all WHL d-men), 3 assists, 9 points, -8 rating, 20 PIMS
D Dalton Thrower, Saskatoon: By far the most disappointing of Montreal's CHL prospects at the moment, calling his year a disaster may be understating things. He already has had a pair of two game suspensions (one team-based for "playing by his own rules" and the other for a hit to the head) and has seen his ice time and role drop from where it was last year. There is lots of time left to turn his season around and given the way it has been so far, I have to think the only way he can go from here is up.
Season Stats: 10 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, even rating, 19 PIMS