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While the playoff runs have come to an end for many of Montreal’s top prospects, there are some still going strong.  Those players get the spotlight as look back at the top prospect performers from last month.


1st Star: Anthony Richard – While I’m sure he was disappointed that he didn’t get into another game with the Habs down the stretch, his play didn’t show it.  When Laval needed him to find another gear, Richard did exactly that.  He even had a hand in the lone playoff goal the Rocket scored.  While I anticipate that Laval is going to be a much younger and much less experienced team next season, they do need some quality veteran pieces to shoulder the load.  Richard has demonstrated that he’s worthy of getting one of those spots.

Stats: (Season) – 6 GP, 6-4-10, +7 rating, 23 shots, 4 PIMS
(Playoffs) – 2 GP, 0-1-1, -1 rating, 6 shots, 0 PIMS

2nd Star: Mitchell Stephens – With Alex Belzile waiver-blocked in Montreal and Brandon Gignac battling through lingering injury trouble, Stephens was tasked with an even bigger role in the final few games of the season.  He was taking on important checking duties while also being counted on to score, a role he struggled with at times earlier in the year.  To his credit, he stepped up this time and played a key role in getting Laval to the playoffs.  His absence was certainly felt against Utica as not having a true impact centre certainly hurt.

Stats: (Season) – 6 GP, 2-5-7, +8 rating, 11 shots, 4 PIMS

3rd Star: Pierrick Dube – Part of it was due to injuries and recalls but Dube found himself with more ice time than he was typically accustomed to and he made the most of it.  If you’re looking for the forward who progressed the most this season, it’s him.  He went from being a depth energy player to an energy player who drove a lot of Laval’s attack in the final few games.  A pending AHL free agent, it’d be nice if the Rocket could keep him around but I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets an NHL entry-level deal somewhere.

Stats: (Season) – 6 GP, 5-0-5, +1 rating, 28 shots, 6 PIMS
(Playoffs) – 2 GP, 0-0-0, -3 rating, 7 shots, 6 PIMS

Honourable Mention: Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Oftentimes, when a player who has been up for a while gets sent down, they don’t typically produce with a bang upon their return.  That wasn’t the case here as Harvey-Pinard picked up six points in his first two games in the final week when Laval had to win their way in.  I didn’t think he was at his best in the playoffs but without that early effort upon being sent down, the Rocket might not have made it to the postseason.

Stats: (Season) – 3 GP, 1-5-6, +4 rating, 7 shots, 0 PIMS
(Playoffs) – 2 GP, 0-0-0, -1 rating, 5 shots, 0 PIMS

Other Prospects

1st Star: Joshua Roy (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) – One of the challenges in evaluating players on the top QMJHL teams in the early playoffs is that the talent gap between the top teams and the rest is so wide that the contests are often like typical regular season games.  That was the case with Roy.  And wouldn’t you know it, he produced just like he did during the regular season.  From a development standpoint, I’d have liked him to face a bit of adversity early but the fact he didn’t wasn’t his fault.  He played a big role in their early postseason success and that’s all that fans could really hope for.

Stats: 9 GP, 10-12-22, +8 rating, 50 shots, 2 PIMS

2nd Star: Riley Kidney (Gatineau, QMJHL) – Most of what you just read about Roy can also be applied here.  Gatineau was one of the top teams so they weren’t pushed much early either.  Kidney wasn’t able to keep up his points pace that he had after being acquired but expecting someone to put up 2.24 points per game is asking a lot.  Instead, he ‘only’ averaged 1.9 per game.  I don’t think Gatineau or Montreal management minded.

Stats: 10 GP, 6-13-19, +9 rating, 31 shots, 4 PIMS, 51.4% faceoffs

3rd Star: Jared Davidson (Seattle, WHL) – Yes, Davidson is on a team that is basically comically stacked so there is some perspective to consider here.  But even so, here’s a player taken late in the draft that is not only playing with some top-end NHL prospects but is also outproducing some of them.  Davidson also has done quite well at the faceoff dot, lending some hope that he could stay down the middle in Laval next season.  He’s under the radar relative to the others on this list but his playoff performance is a continuation of what was a strong season.

Stats: 9 GP, 7-9-16, +10 rating, 34 shots, 4 PIMS, 56.1% faceoffs

Honourable Mention: Logan Mailloux (London, OHL) – If there was any single Montreal prospect that needed a long playoff run, it was him.  Mailloux is in a spot where he simply needs as many game reps as possible.  Offensively, he’s doing quite well and has been among the most dominant OHL blueliners in the postseason which is what the Habs want to see.  I am, however, concerned about his penalty frequency.  At a time when discipline is required even more during the playoffs, Mailloux hasn’t exactly done that.  The pros still outweigh the cons which lands him in this spot but if London gets to the OHL Finals, he needs to figure out how to stay out of the box.

Stats: 10 GP, 5-6-11, +7 rating, 41 shots, 20 PIMS