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There were plenty of COVID-related postponements in January, resulting in some different players getting the nod for our prospects of the month.


1st Star: Peter Abbandonato – It was a fairly quiet month for Laval but one of the bright spots was Abbandonato, a recall from Trois-Rivieres who tied for the team lead in points for the month while chipping in with a pair of game-winners.  As a result, he has moved up from the fourth line and has managed to stay in the lineup even as many of Montreal’s recalls have made it back down.  That’s making the most of his opportunity.

Stats: 6 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, -3 rating, 0 PIMS, 7 shots

2nd Star: Louie Belpedio – I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get a chance with the Habs thanks to him entering COVID protocol as soon as he was recalled.  Not that he’s someone that has legitimate NHL upside but it would have been a nice reward for a decent start to his season.  Belpedio had a strong month while logging heavy minutes due to a shorthanded roster and even chipped in a bit more than usual at the offensive end.

Stats: 6 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, -3 rating, 0 PIMS, 7 shots

3rd Star: Jesse Ylonen – Sure, he only played in half of Laval’s games after having to wait a little longer to join up with the Rocket due to COVID protocol but Ylonen made a significant impact in two of them.  When he’s there and healthy, he should be a fixture on the top line in Laval and if Montreal sells some forwards over the next six weeks, he’s an interesting candidate to be brought up for the stretch run.

Stats: 3 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, -2 rating, 2 PIMS, 8 shots

Honourable Mention: Jean-Sebastien Dea – Basically the last one standing among healthy players that could have been recalled from Laval, Dea didn’t exactly step up too much in the absence of most of the roster.  He was decent but as someone that was brought in to be a top scorer in the minors, I was hoping he’d find a gear better than that.  That said, he led the team in goals for the month which earns him this spot.

Stats: 6 GP, 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points, -5 rating, 2 PIMS, 12 shots

Other Prospects

1st Star: Jakub Dobes (Ohio State, NCAA) – Dobes just continues to dominate, stealing games for the Buckeyes with regularity.  He faced shots at a rate that’s worse than what Montreal has allowed this season if you’re looking for some extra context for how well he has been playing.  Yes, he’s not in the strongest conference but that only matters so much.  He has been quite strong all season long and somehow found another level in January.

Stats: 8 GP, 5-0-3 record, 1.71 GAA, .957 SV%, 1 SO

2nd Star: Logan Mailloux (London, OHL) – For someone who hadn’t played all season and with limited OHL experience overall, I was expecting Mailloux to have a rough first few games as he worked his way into London’s lineup.  That didn’t happen.  Instead, he was put in a top role right away, played pretty heavy minutes, and played quite well.  It’s obviously a small sample size but the early results are encouraging.

Stats: 6 GP, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, +6 rating, 4 PIMS, 31 shots

3rd Star: Brett Stapley (Denver, NCAA) – Stapley needs a big final few months to help his chances of getting an entry-level contract and his performance last month will certainly help those odds.  He’s starting to become a bit more involved in the offence instead of being more of a supporting player.  Stapley won’t be a play-driver in the pros but it’s good to see that he has been able to be more aggressive over the last few weeks.

Stats: 7 GP, 3 goals, 9 assists, 12 points, +7 rating, 10 PIMS

Honourable Mention: Jan Mysak (Hamilton, OHL) – Mysak continues to be a player that shows some flashes of dominance but it’s mixed in with some quiet moments as well and January was no exception.  He was particularly strong on the penalty kill which is good to see and the addition of Mason McTavish resulted in Mysak spending a bit of time on the wing on a loaded-up front line.  I’d like to see a bit more consistency down the stretch but admittedly, I am being a bit picky here.

Stats: 6 GP, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, +9 rating, 0 PIMS, 18 shots, 52/80 faceoffs