While November wasn’t as good as the previous month for the Habs, several of their prospects had some strong performances. Here are our three stars.
St. John’s IceCaps
1st Star: Charlie Lindgren – The numbers as a whole don’t really tell the whole tale as a lot of nights, he was hung out to dry by a woefully porous defence. Lindgren has given St. John’s high level goaltending in almost every game and he is a big reason that the team is hovering near a playoff spot despite the flaws on this roster.
Stats: 11 GP, 6-5-0 record, 2.62 GAA, .918 SV%, 0 SO
2nd Star: Nikita Scherbak – Last year, he showed flashes of the offensive potential that made him a first round pick. This season, he’s still providing it in flashes but at least there have been more of them. His effort level and defensive awareness are still lacking which will hold him back from being seriously considered for a recall when injuries strike but he is one of St. John’s top offensive threats now, something that wasn’t the case a year ago.
Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points, +4 rating, 10 PIMS, 26 shots
3rd Star: Sven Andrighetto – Although his first performance with Montreal wasn’t anything to get excited about, that hasn’t been the case in St. John’s. Even after getting sent back down, Andrighetto immediately went back to being a high end first line player. He’s much more assertive with the IceCaps, something that isn’t the case when he’s in the NHL. It certainly works for him though and St. John’s benefits from it when he’s down there.
Stats: 10 GP, 2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points, -2 rating, 4 PIMS, 30 shots
Honourable Mention: Mark Barberio – It may seem strange on the surface but Barberio could potentially be St. John’s most important player. When he’s there, he can be a legitimate number one defender on a team lacking in quality depth. When he’s not, it’s generally not pretty in their own zone. Add to that the fact that he is their lone point threat on the power play and you have a very valuable player, one who they sorely miss when he’s up in Montreal.
Stats: 10 GP, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, +1 rating, 10 PIMS, 25 shots
1st Star: Matt Bradley (C, Medicine Hat, WHL) – After a tough post-draft season, Bradley needs a much better year if he wants to get a contract from the Habs by June. For that to happen, he needs to show a significantly improved offensive game and he has done that in the early stages of the year, particularly last month. It’s a good start but there’s still a ways to go if he’s going to earn his entry-level deal.
Stats: 11 GP, 8 goals, 7 assists, 15 points, +6 rating, 2 PIMS
2nd Star: Michael McNiven (G, Owen Sound, OHL) – After stumbling a bit towards the end of last season, McNiven is off to another strong start again this year. He’s on a team that isn’t the most talented offensively so he’s being relied on to win quite a few games on his own (does that ever sound familiar). He has played his way onto Team Canada’s radar for the World Juniors and while it’s probably a long shot that he makes it, the fact he’s going to be at their camp after not being among the invitees to their summer Development Camp is impressive in itself.
Stats: 9 GP, 6-2-1 record, 2.42 GAA, .919 SV%, 0 SO
3rd Star: Victor Mete (D, London, OHL) – His numbers are certainly aided by the fact that London is once again a powerhouse but that shouldn’t take away from the start he has had to the season as he hovers around the point-per-game mark. Even though he doesn’t have a big shot, he has been effective with the man advantage and has also been solid in his own end as well. It’s early but Mete is looking like a steal as a fourth round pick.
Stats: 11 GP, 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points, +16 rating, 2 PIMS, 17 shots
Honourable Mention: Mikhail Sergachev (D, Windsor, OHL) – The first part of the month wasn’t so good for Sergachev who struggled after being cut by the Habs. He got much better as November went along and finished on a high with a five game point streak. Assuming he’s now comfortable with being back at the junior level, it should be smooth sailing from here.
Stats: 11 GP, 0 goals, 7 assists, 7 points, +2 rating, 16 PIMS, 27 shots