The late start to the AHL campaign pushed their regular season into May while a handful of unsigned prospects finished their years up as well. Here’s the final instalment of our 2020-21 three stars.
1st Star: Laurent Dauphin – Last year, it took a bit of time for him to find his footing but he caught fire down the stretch. This season wound up being a repeat as Dauphin finally found his offensive stride, anchoring Laval’s top line over the final couple of weeks of the season. That was enough to earn him a Black Ace recall and now the question will be whether or not it’s enough to give him another chance next season as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points, +6 rating, 2 PIMS, 29 shots
2nd Star: Yannick Veilleux – Technically, he’s not a Montreal prospect but the pickings were relatively slim given that the Rocket scuffled over the final couple of weeks of the year. He was the finisher on Dauphin’s line while playing with his usual physical edge. However, he also received a one-game suspension for boarding along the way, his third of the short season. With Laval doing some AHL contracts recently, it’s interesting that Veilleux hasn’t been among them as he definitely did well enough to stick around.
Stats: 6 GP, 5 goals, 0 assists, 5 points, +4 rating, 12 PIMS, 22 shots
3rd Star: Alex Belzile – He didn’t spend much time in Laval as he was up with the Habs a bit as well but he made an impact in his limited time with the Rocket. He had some offensive success in a stretch where few players did and he also played well with Montreal and while I usually don’t use NHL performance in these, it helped him land here given the small stretch of games.
Laval Stats: 3 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, +3 rating, 8 PIMS, 7 shots
Montreal Stats: 2 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -1 rating, 0 PIMS, 3 shots, 4/5 faceoffs, 10:39 ATOI
Honourable Mention: Corey Schueneman – He tailed off a bit offensively after a strong first half that helped him land an NHL entry-level deal for next year but Schueneman finished on a high note. He wound up being a fixture on the top pairing for most of the season and is an intriguing player for next year as a result.
Stats: 7 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, +1 rating, 0 PIMS, 17 shots
1st Star: Sean Farrell (Chicago, USHL) – I’m going to use the term lightly but his point output actually tailed off a bit compared to the regular season but he still had an impressive month against the top competition in the league. He didn’t lead the league in scoring in the playoffs but he was still pretty close, helping to lead the Steel to the title over Fargo. Farrell was recently named Player of the Year which should come as a surprise to precisely no one at this point.
Stats: 7 GP, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, +3 rating, 2 PIMS, 16 shots
2nd Star: Cedric Desruisseaux (Charlottetown, QMJHL) – He’s also technically not a Hab prospect but he did recently sign with Laval for next season so that’s good enough to get him on this list. He was the top scorer in the league this season (goals and points) and finished up with a good showing in the playoffs. It’s always tough to project when an overage player lights it up but there’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal.
Stats: 8 GP, 5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points, even rating, 4 PIMS, 19 shots
3rd Star: Jakub Dobes (Omaha, USHL) – We’ve reached the very small sample size portion of the column as Dobes played in all of two games, losing both of them. He only allowed four goals in those games so the losses certainly weren’t on him. Overall, Dobes had a solid final USHL campaign; he’s off to Ohio State next season.
Stats: 2 GP, 0-2-0 record, 2.08 GAA, .923 SV%, 0 SO
Honourable Mention 1: Gianni Fairbrother (Everett, WHL) – With no playoffs this season, WHL teams were basically playing out the stretch and Fairbrother had a quieter month by his standards. A full season of game action would have been nice for his development but he had a good finish to his junior career and will be with Laval full time next season.
Stats: 4 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, even rating, 9 PIMS, 11 shots
Honourable Mention 2: Frederik Dichow (Denmark, WC) – Dichow didn’t actually play a game last month but he was on Denmark’s team at the Worlds, dressing as Sebastian Dahm’s backup for four of their seven games. For someone who hardly saw any game action this season, a bit more practice time is something at least.