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The month of November wasn’t a great one for the Habs or even Laval but several of Montreal’s prospects had strong showings, earning them a spot in our monthly three stars.


1st Star: Brandon Gignac – With a bunch of injuries and some recalls, Gignac went from playing in his usual bottom six spark plug role to often anchoring the top line.  A couple of years ago, that would have been asking for trouble but over his time with the Rocket, he has really improved his play on that side of the ice.  At this point, he has earned an opportunity to see some time with Montreal but they’d have to convert him to an NHL deal first.

Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, -1 rating, 28 shots, 6 PIMS

2nd Star: Logan Mailloux – Offensively, Mailloux is already showing that he’s above average at the AHL level which is certainly a positive sign.  Defensively, he’s still very much a work in progress which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.  I don’t want to say he made big strides in his own end last month but there were some positives; that, coupled with being the second-leading point-getter, earns him this spot.  He’s still nowhere near ready for any sort of extended NHL look though but that’s perfectly fine at this point of his development.

Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, -1 rating, 30 shots, 4 PIMS

3rd Star: Xavier Simoneau – The start to his season wasn’t anything to get excited about.  However, Simoneau was much more effective last month, providing some much-needed depth scoring despite still spending a lot of time in the bottom six even with a weakened depth chart.  His emotions still get the better of him sometimes which resulted in some penalty trouble toward the end of the month but it was still a nice bounce back after a tough start.

Stats: 9 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, +2 rating, 12 shots, 34 PIMS

Honourable Mention: Sean Farrell – Another player who had somewhat of a slow start, Farrell started to put together some better games at the beginning of the month and eventually was rewarded for his improved play with a four-game point streak which covered his total scoring for the month.  Unfortunately, he’s now out for a while which will take away any chance of a recall for the foreseeable future; he likely would have been near the top of the list otherwise.

Stats: 11 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, even rating, 18 shots, 4 PIMS

Other Prospects

1st Star: Filip Mesar (Kitchener, OHL) – Considering his original desire to not go back for a second junior season, I was really curious to see how things would go for him after an underwhelming first year.  Now, he’s a key part of arguably the best line in the league and from a point-per-game rate, he was the OHL’s leader at the end of the month.  Hard to ask for much more than that.

Stats: 13 GP, 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points, +9 rating, 38 shots, 2 PIMS

2nd Star: Owen Beck (Peterborough, OHL) – After not scoring much for the Petes down the stretch and in the opening few weeks of the season, it would have been fair to at least have been a bit concerned about Beck’s production.  Fortunately, he showed that he can be a legitimate scoring threat while bringing all the usual other elements to the table.  That said, even though he might be Canada’s lone returning player from the World Juniors, there’s a good chance he’ll be deployed in more of a limited checking role, not an offensive one.

Stats: 11 GP, 8 goals, 8 assists, 16 points, -1 rating, 53 shots, 4 PIMS, 65.2% faceoffs

3rd Star: Lane Hutson (Boston University, NCAA) – It’s safe to say that he picked up where he left off a year ago as one of the most dominant offensive blueliners in college hockey.  The defence still needs to be refined but when you’re as dynamic offensively as Hutson is, he’ll get more leeway than a lot of other young blueliners will.  He could be in for a big performance at the World Juniors.

Stats: 8 GP, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, even rating, 22 shots, 4 PIMS

Honourable Mention: Rhett Pitlick (Minnesota, NCAA) – This is a big season for Montreal’s last remaining Pitlick as he’s eligible to become a free agent in August and will need a strong showing to put himself in line for an entry-level deal.  The offensive upside has been there but the question was always around his ability to produce consistently.  For last month, at least, Pitlick was able to be that consistent top-line producer.

Stats: 8 GP, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, -1 rating, 27 shots, 8 PIMS