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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).
There were numerous Montreal prospects who stood out in a positive way in January. Unfortunately, all but one aren't yet members of the Hamilton Bulldogs who had quite possibly one of their worst months in team history. For the first time this season, Alex Galchenyuk is not atop the non-Bulldog prospect list, find out which youngster has taken his place as first star of the month.
1st Star: Gabriel Dumont - Let's face it, pretty much every player struggled offensively last month (the team scored 18 goals in 10 games) but Dumont was the lone exception. He is quickly becoming more comfortable with playing in a scoring role; the extra development of his offensive game should help his chances at earning a recall should the injury bug strike in Montreal.
Stats: 8 GP, 4-2-6, -1 rating, 22 SOG, 7 PIMS, 2 GWG (out of 3 team wins)
2nd Star: Joey Tenute - If you're wondering who he is, the 29 year old centre signed a tryout deal around the start of NHL training camps and within a few weeks had earned a contract for the rest of the season. Unlike most of the players that have been brought in, he has had a positive impact right away and looks to be a fixture in the top-six for the rest of the year.
Stats: 8 GP, 2-2-4, +1 rating, 14 SOG, 8 PIMS
3rd Star: Frederic St. Denis - Dependability from veteran blueliners is crucial in the AHL and in recent weeks, St. Denis has stepped up his game even if the offensive numbers aren't particularly special. He's logging heavy minutes on a regular basis and depending on the injury situation in Montreal, he could be the first defenceman called up (unless the Habs want toughness, then it will be Jarred Tinordi).
Stats: 8 GP, 1-2-3, even rating, 15 SOG, 2 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Cedrick Desjardins - He had a winning percentage of .200 and still gets the nod (yes, it was that bad of a month) because he gave Hamilton a chance to win in each of his starts. For some reason, Sylvain Lefebvre kept going to Robert Mayer but Desjardins was the better of the two goalies in January.
Stats: 5 GP, 1-2-2 record, 2.49 GAA, .908 SV%
(As Alex Galchenyuk is in the NHL, he is ineligible for a star here as the point of these articles is to highlight players in the system.)
1st Star: Danny Kristo (North Dakota, NCAA) - Kristo continued his goal scoring streak through the first half of the month (it lasted seven games in total), one that vaulted him to within striking distance of becoming the top scorer not only on his team but in all of college hockey. It's safe to say he is too good for this level now.
Stats: 8 GP, 7-5-12, 4 PIMS
2nd Star: Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi, QMJHL) - He missed some games in December after being a late minute cut from Canada's World Junior team due to a back injury but Hudon was fully healthy last month and intent on making up for lost time as he led the team in scoring. In his stints away from his club team (the summer series vs Russia, QMJHL vs Russia in the SuperSeries, and his time with the WJHC squad) we've seen him used primarily as a checker but his offensive game is developing nicely as well.
Stats: 13 GP, 7-9-16, +3 rating, 20 PIMS
3rd Star: Tim Bozon (Kamloops, WHL) - January marked the second straight strong month for the Habs' 3rd round pick after struggling significantly in November. He actually has spent some time away from the big line that at one point sat 1-2-3 in league scoring but hasn't slowed down any. A 100 point season isn't out of the question if he can keep it up.
Stats: 11 GP, 5-9-14, -1 rating, 4 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Magnus Nygren (Farjestad, SEL) - Last month saw the 22 year old blueliner surpass his previous career highs in all statistical categories. He has quickly gone from a depth offensive defenceman to one that is logging heavy minutes (over 23 minutes per game) while still being a top end scoring threat (he leads all SEL d-men in goals now).
Stats: 11 GP, 4-3-7, 6 PIMS
- HW 3 Stars: December's Top Prospects posted by B. La Rose
- HW 3 Stars: November's Top Prospects posted by B. La Rose