The Habs unveiled their list of invitees to training camp on Monday and a
total of 55 players will take part beginning with physicals on Wednesday.
23 of the 40 prospects at rookie camp are moving on to the main one while
defenceman Matt Lashoff is the only player on a tryout. He spent last
season in the Swiss league and will likely be vying for a two-way contract to
start the season in Hamilton.
Of the 55 participating, there are 34 forwards, 16 defencemen, and 5 goalies.
All but two of Montreal’s picks from the 2013 draft are attending – those
missing are 2nd rounders Jacob de la Rose and Artturi Lehkonen who are both
under contract overseas. Here are some things worth noting from the list
Collberg to attend: The biggest surprise from the list is that 2012
2nd round pick Sebastian Collberg will be at camp. The Swedish winger is
presently under contract in the SHL (he just finished off a quality stint at the
European Trophy tournament) but his club team gave him special permission to
attend. Although he isn’t subject to AHL age rules like CHL’ers are, he
will need to be assigned back to Frolunda should he not make the team.
Vail the odd man out: Of the 17 cuts from rookie camp, all but three
weren’t under contract to Montreal. Of those three, two are goalies Peter
Delmas and Michael Condon who will likely battle for time in the ECHL. The
lone skater that isn’t moving on to the main camp is 2012 4th rounder Brady
Vail. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the team was high enough on him
last season to bring him to the Bulldogs for a 12-game stint where he played
relatively well. He’ll return to Windsor where he will be expected to play
in a top six role for the Spitfires.
Injury designations: The Habs have five players with injury
designations on their invite list – forwards Brian Gionta, Joonas Nattinen,
George Parros, and Steve Quailer plus defenceman Alexei Emelin. This is
worth noting primarily for Nattinen and Quailer as if they are not healthy by
the end of the preseason, they can still be cut and removed from the roster.
If a player destined for Hamilton gets hurt in camp or the preseason, they can’t
technically be cut until they are medically cleared to play.
Playing for a contract?: Lashoff, the lone invitee to camp, isn’t the
only one playing for a contract as 2012 2nd round pick Dalton Thrower finds
himself in a similar battle. As he has played four junior seasons, he is
eligible to play in Hamilton despite the fact he has not yet turned 20. He
has yet to sign his entry-level deal, a strong training camp performance may be
enough to sway management to ink him and send him to the Bulldogs. If they
don’t, he’ll return to junior (he now plays for Vancouver) and the organization
will still retain his rights until June 1, 2014.
Number change: It appears Jarred Tinordi will keep his #24 that he was
sporting at the rookie camp. He wore #42 with the Canadiens last season.
On-ice sessions for the camp begin on Thursday morning at the Habs’ practice
facility in Brossard, all practices there are open to the public.
Preseason play gets underway this coming Sunday as Buffalo travels to the Bell
Centre to take on the Canadiens.