Habsworld.net has named Guillaume Latendresse the September Prospect of the Month for impressive play at the Montreal Canadiens rookie and training camps, as well as winning over fans with some bone crunching hits and stellar offensive plays. In just four games the young 18-year old was able to pick up three goals and two assists in a strong performance that has not been witnessed by such a young player in a long time. Fans quickly caught on as to why Assistant GM Andre Savard and Director of Player Personnel Trevor Timmins pushed for GM Bob Gainey to trade up in the second round of the most recent entry draft.
A major shoulder injury, suffered during his rookie year in the QMJHL, caused his stock drop after being considered by some scouting services to be a possible top three pick. A slow start to the season, as he played a more careful style due to the healing shoulder, caused his draft rating to drop even lower, which, coupled with his then average to below average skating, foot speed and mobility, saw him being considered a late first round or early second round pick. A very strong performance during last season’s QMJHL playoffs that saw him flat out dominate with his natural strength, size and skills, saw him record ten points in six games with a goal a game average as the team’s top scorer. His play must not have caught the attention of many GM’s who may have focused on the solid but not dominating display at the U-18’s where he was one of Canada’s top players but did show some difficulty with his skating and speed on the larger ice surface. This could end up being a great bit of luck for the Canadiens organization, as they were able to land perhaps the future skilled power forward they have been in desperate need of.
Also in the running for the September Prospect of the Month was Siarhei Kostitsyn who made his OHL debut in fine fashion picking up an outstanding six points in his first ever game with London, last seasons Memorial Cup winners. Kostitsyn had one goal and five assists in the 10-7 loss, and was also on the ice for all seven of his team’s goals, most of which were on the power play. Kostitsyn did not stop there as he went on to pick up nine points in the four games he played in month of September.
In addition to Kostitsyn, fellow 2005 draft pick Mathieu Aubin got off to a big start to the new season, as he recorded eight points in four games played, with one of those games being a four point night. What is more impressive for Aubin is that he picked up right where he left off last season, despite losing both his wingers in the skilled Alex Picard and Alex Bourret. After finishing fourth on the team in scoring last year, this could be the year Aubin becomes the team’s top scorer if all goes well.
Congratulations are in order to Alex Perezhogin, Chirs Higgins, Tomas Plekanec, Yann Danis, Mark Streit and Raitis Ivanans for being named to the Canadiens 23 man roster.