The month of March saw several players in Laval have strong months offensively. Meanwhile, it was a quieter month for some of their other prospects but a handful really stood out to earn one of our three stars.
1st Star: Rafael Harvey-Pinard – A cursory glance at his point total might suggest that Harvey-Pinard helped drive the offence last month. I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s the case as he was still more of a complementary player but was still quite impactful with his contributions ultimately leading the team in scoring. He’s certainly taking advantage of being a fixture on the top line and has himself in the mix to be the next one brought up if injuries strike again.
Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points, +9 rating, 2 PIMS, 27 shots
2nd Star: Jean-Sebastien Dea – Last month was Dea’s best of the season as he and Harvey-Pinard combined to be two-thirds of Laval’s top line. He’s never going to wow anyone with his defensive play which is part of the reason he’s basically an AHL hired gun at this point but Dea lived up to his offensive expectations in March.
Stats: 14 GP, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, +3 rating, 8 PIMS, 36 shots
3rd Star: Xavier Ouellet – Ouellet hasn’t lit it up offensively as he has at times in the past but at the same time, I feel he has shored up his defensive game at points this season as well. With defenders going down on basically a weekly basis, he was one of the few steady (and healthy) blueliners Laval had and he contributed with heavy minutes plus his most productive month of the year.
Stats: 14 GP, 1 goal, 11 assists, 12 points, +3 rating, 4 PIMS, 32 shots
Honourable Mention: Joel Teasdale – Kevin Poulin easily could have filled this slot but I’ll opt to focus on the prospect in Teasdale instead. There were some ups and downs when he first came back from his knee injury as expected but he has settled into a middle-six role while becoming one of Laval’s top defensive forwards once again. Is he doing enough to get a contract for next season? I think he’s still on the borderline on that front but he’s not hurting his chances, that’s for sure.
Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, +8 rating, 6 PIMS, 28 shots
1st Star: Riley Kidney (Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) – It felt like Kidney fell under the radar at the draft and, to be honest, I think he has flown way under the radar again this season somehow. He has quickly become one of the top offensive centres in the QMJHL which should be exciting for a prospect pool that isn’t exactly loaded in middlemen. No Montreal prospect was more productive than he was in March, making him an easy choice for the top spot as he had a point in all but one of his 14 games.
Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals, 18 assists, 24 points, +16 rating, 6 PIMS, 44 shots, 41.1% faceoffs
2nd Star: Joshua Roy (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) – Roy is the reason that Kidney has gone relatively unnoticed as the fifth-rounder continues to light it up. I’m running out of different ways to phrase his monthly presence in this column as there are only so many ways to say he continues to light it up. I do like that he’s starting to fire the puck a bit more which is a change from his pass-heavy approach earlier in the year. He certainly earned his entry-level deal from the Habs.
Stats: 14 GP, 12 goals, 9 assists, 21 points, +7 rating, 4 PIMS, 68 shots
3rd Star: Sean Farrell (Harvard, NCAA) – Fully settled back in after a good stint at the Olympics, Farrell picked up where he left off, picking up points in five of his six games. I’m surprised there were some that thought he might turn pro as he’s clearly not ready for that just yet; a good chunk of his production came against weaker opponents at the beginning of the year so it’s not like he has nothing left to prove. I will say that it was nice to see his production this month largely come against stronger schools which was a nice way to wrap up a good freshman year.
Stats: 6 GP, 2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points, +4 rating, 5 PIMS
Honourable Mention: Oliver Kapanen (KalPa U20, FIN) – I know there has been some disappointment with Kapanen’s general ineffectiveness at the top level this season. But back at the junior level against players in his age group, he is the all-around impact player that he should be and last month, he hovered near the point per game mark while logging nearly 20 minutes a night on average. Perhaps he will take a bit longer to develop than expected but he’s finishing his year up strong.
Stats: 9 GP, 6 goals, 2 assists, 8 points, +6 rating, 2 PIMS