The month of October was an eventful one for many of Montreal’s top prospects with several star-worthy candidates as our monthly Three Stars return.
1st Star: Anthony Richard – He was an interesting signing over the summer as someone that has been a consistent secondary contributor but hasn’t had much of a chance to be a top liner. Richard is getting that chance this season with the Rocket and while it took him a few games to find his footing, he finished the month on a four-game goal streak (and has carried over his strong play into November). On merit, he should be the first one recalled if there’s an injury (although prospect development could trump merit).
Stats: 8 GP, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, -5 rating, 20 shots, 2 PIMS
2nd Star: Brandon Gignac – I was really happy when Gignac re-signed, to a two-year deal at that. There are some glue players that every team needs and he’s one of those. On top of being an energetic defensive player that can move up and down the lineup, he showed an ability to put up points over the second half of last year and that carried over into the start of this season. A solid start.
Stats: 7 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, even rating, 14 shots, 4 PIMS
3rd Star: Gabriel Bourque – There were times last season when Bourque was invisible offensively and others when he looked like an impact scorer. Over the first couple of weeks, he was the latter as he scored in each of Laval’s first four games of the season. In a quiet month for a lot of players otherwise, that’s enough to land the third star.
Stats: 8 GP, 4 goals, 0 assists, 4 points, -1 rating, 15 shots, 4 PIMS
This is normally the part where I’d add in an honourable mention but to be honest, there isn’t really anyone else worth highlighting. Instead, we’ll go with a second honourable mention among the other prospects.
1st Star: Joshua Roy (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) – While there’s a risk of developmental stagnation by sending him back to junior, the Habs didn’t have much of a choice as he couldn’t go to Laval. Roy is off to another high-end start and is doing so without the second and third-highest scorers who have moved on. That’s a good thing. What will truly make his season a success or not is his development in areas of improvement but that’s not something we technically get into with this particular series.
Stats: 11 GP, 6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points, +7 rating, 51 shots, 6 PIMS
2nd Star: Owen Beck (Mississauga, OHL) – First, it’s at least worth mentioning that Beck did quite well in the preseason all things considered which is taken into consideration with this placement. But those games were in a defensive role. Offence was a question mark for him which helped him slide into the second round. Well, he certainly is trying to put those questions to rest early as he has quickly become one of the top threats on the Steelheads. We know he’s the type of prospect with a high floor with his hustle, defensive play, and faceoff ability but if he takes some big steps forward offensively this season, his stock will go way up.
Stats (OHL): 10 GP, 7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points, +5 rating, 25 shots, 6 PIMS, 59.4% faceoffs
3rd Star: Riley Kidney (Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) – With Hendrix Lapierre now in the AHL with Washington, Kidney is now the undisputed go-to player on the Titan. (Developmentally, that’s at least a different challenge for him.) The early results are more than promising as he has picked up where he left off a year ago, again without the type of supporting cast from 2021-22. He’s someone whose spot for Canada at the World Juniors probably isn’t a lock just yet so this type of start certainly helps on that front.
Stats: 14 GP, 5 goals, 14 assists, 19 points, -5 rating, 65 shots, 12 PIMS, 50.5% faceoffs
Honourable Mention 1: Jared Davidson (Seattle, WHL) – Davidson is going to be a tough one to evaluate this season. As someone that’s old enough to go pro, there’s an expectation that he should dominate but as a player that was a fifth-rounder, is that really fair? For one month at least, he lived up to the high expectations as he was one of the top players for the Thunderbirds, a team that looks like it has the potential to make some noise in the WHL this season. I’d have liked for him to at least get a look in Laval first but it’s hard to argue with the early results.
Stats: 9 GP, 7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points, +10 rating, 39 shots, 10 PIMS, 61.1% faceoffs
Honourable Mention 2: Jakub Dobes (Ohio State, NCAA) – There’s a very strong case to make for Cedrick Guindon here but I’ll go with the goalie. After a stellar freshman year, I wasn’t sure what to expect for an encore. For the most part, Dobes has been every part the same impactful netminder as last season although there were a couple of clunkers along the way. It’s rare to have a perfect month though and right now, it looks like he picked up where he left off which is exactly what Montreal was hoping to see from him.
Stats: 10 GP, 7-2-1 record, 2.25 GAA, .917 SV%, 1 SO