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Several of Montreal’s unsigned prospects had very strong months of October while a handful of Laval players were able to stand out amongst the crowd and are highlighted in our monthly three stars.


1st Star: Cayden Primeau – The Habs (and Rocket) are doing the right thing by easing him in given that it’s his first full season and that he hasn’t had anywhere near a full workload in the past.  He’s certainly making the most of his limited role (split in a timeshare with Charlie Lindgren) and is making a case for a bigger role.  It may be a bit longer before that happens but Primeau has already established himself as one of the top youngsters in the league.

Stats: 5 GP, 3-2-0 record, 1.99 GA, .937 SV%

2nd Star: Alex Belzile – Any thoughts of last year being a fluke (which would have been justifiable considering his previous track record) should be thrown out the window.  He immediately stepped back into his spot on the top line and picked up where he left off production-wise.  Whenever a winger goes down due to injury in Montreal, he should be the first recall.

Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points, even rating, 0 PIMS, 29 shots

3rd Star: Xavier Ouellet – Ouellet has stepped right back into the number one role but he’s doing so while playing his off-side (Gustav Olofsson, also a lefty, is his partner and is playing his natural side).  That’s certainly noteworthy when it comes to potentially needing to call him up if injuries arise in Montreal.  He also is very aggressive with his shot (perhaps too aggressive) but on a team where there isn’t a lot of offence from the back end, that’s good.

Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, even rating, 0 PIMS, 29 shots

Honourable Mention: Otto Leskinen – I could have gone a few ways here but no one really stood out so I’ll go with Leskinen and credit how he has adapted to the AHL in his first season.  He has quickly established himself as a regular in the top four and has showed some improvement in the defensive zone already.  He still has some work to do in that regard but it was a solid start.

Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, even rating, 0 PIMS, 29 shots

Other Prospects

1st Star: Cole Caufield (Wisconsin, NCAA) – Something tells me this won’t be the last time Caufield is in this spot.  How would he adjust to playing at the college level?  Six goals in three games was quite the first impression.  At this stage, he’s predominantly ‘just’ a sniper but if you’re going to have one skill to try to build around, that’s the one.  That’s a great start for the recent first-rounder.

Stats: 7 GP, 8 goals (NCAA lead), 2 assists, 10 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 31 shots

2nd Star: Samuel Houde (Chicoutimi, QMJHL) – After a rough post-draft season, Houde has a lot of work to do in order to land an entry-level deal.  October will certainly help his cause as he picked up at least a point in every game while establishing himself as one of the better offensive threats in the ‘Q’.  It also helped him earn a late nod to the Canada-Russia series.  He’ll need to sustain this to get in the mix for a deal but this was certainly an impressive month.

Stats: 11 GP, 8 goals, 11 assists, 19 points, +9 rating, 4 PIMS, 31 shots, 115/242 faceoffs (47.5%)

3rd Star: Cam Hillis (Guelph, OHL) – His 2018-19 campaign was a disappointment in multiple ways.  He couldn’t stay healthy for the most part and when he was in the lineup, he didn’t do much.  That means the pressure is on for this season, his final one before the Habs have to make a call on his entry-level deal.  The new Storm captain is certainly off to a strong start and is among their leading scorers to start the season.  It’s a good start but he’ll need to keep it up to be signed.

Stats: 10 GP, 5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points, +10 rating, 2 PIMS, 19 shots, 129/225 faceoffs (57.3%)

Honourable Mention: Cole Fonstad (Prince Albert/Everett, WHL) – Fonstad continues the theme of these last few players as ones from the 2018 draft that are fighting to earn a contract for next season.  He got off to a strong start with the Raiders before surprisingly being traded to Everett early in the year.  Unfortunately, he quickly suffered an upper-body injury in practice which is a small setback.  Regardless, if he picks up where he left off, he’ll certainly help his chances of getting signed.

Stats: 8 GP, 2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points, +10 rating, 2 PIMS, 18 shots