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The turning of the calendar to 2024 saw some of Montreal’s prospects and farmhands find new gears at the offensive end.  Those performances helped them earn a spot in our monthly three stars.


1st Star: Philippe Maillet – He is someone whose performance has largely flown under the radar this season for two reasons.  First, he didn’t get off to a particularly good start and then injuries slowed him down.  However, Maillet has turned into the reliable point-per-game centre as of late, helping to give Laval more than one reliable scoring line.  In terms of merit, he probably should have received a recall by now although, with the expectation that more youngsters will be tried out, the veteran might have to wait a while for that.

Stats: 10 GP, 5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points, +8 rating, 19 shots, 4 PIMS

2nd Star: Logan Mailloux – Well, it didn’t take too long for Mailloux to show he was an above-average point producer in the AHL, did it?  His strong showing helped earn him an All-Star nod.  But he isn’t slotted here solely because of his production (which was among the best performers for Laval last month).  His defensive game warrants a mention as well as he has made some much better reads in recent weeks.  There’s still a ways to go on that end but he has improved enough that the Canadiens should feel confident enough to recall Mailloux if necessary.

Stats: 11 GP, 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points, +7 rating, 27 shots, 14 PIMS

3rd Star: Lias Andersson – Another player who didn’t start strong and then had some injuries, Andersson was fully healthy last month and was the impactful top liner that they’re paying him to be.  What’s notable is that even with limited depth down the middle (it’s not just in Montreal that they’re dealing with this), he has spent very limited time at centre; it appears they feel he’s best suited as a winger.  As injuries, trades, and ‘creative injuries’ to create an emergency recall situation come, Andersson should get a chance with the big club at some point.

Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, +6 rating, 32 shots, 2 PIMS

Honourable Mention: Xavier Simoneau – I have to admit, Simoneau is someone I have a hard time getting a read on.  He has been effective but at times I think he’s miscast in an offensive role which is where he spent a lot of time last month.  That said, he helped set up quite a few goals last month which helped him stay in the top six.  If he can keep that up, the Habs might have something in the diminutive winger.

Stats: 11 GP, 1 goal, 10 assists, 11 points, +7 rating, 14 shots, 25 PIMS

Other Prospects

1st Star: Owen Beck (Saginaw, OHL) – It was an eventful month for Beck.  After Canada went out early at the World Juniors, he was moved to the Memorial Cup-hosting Spirit soon after returning and had quite the debut with a six-point effort.  Since then, he settled in as a point-per-game player while looking a bit buzzier in the offensive end.  That’s where his focus needs to be down the stretch; the defence is there but can he improve enough to be an impactful offensive player in the pros?

OHL Stats: 10 GP, 5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points, +6 rating, 43 shots, 6 PIMS, 54.1% faceoffs
WJC Stats: Stats: 1 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1 rating, 0 shots, 0 PIMS

2nd Star: Lane Hutson (Boston University, NCAA) – While he didn’t put up much production in the medal round, he logged significant minutes in all situations in the medal round.  Then Hutson made up for the limited numbers upon his return to the college game, averaging over a point and a half per game for the rest of January.  At this point, all the Habs are hoping is that he continues to hone his skating and defensive game and doesn’t get hurt before he turns pro late in the season.

NCAA Stats: 7 GP, 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS
WJC Stats: 3 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, +2 rating, 5 shots, 0 PIMS

3rd Star: Dmitri Kostenko (Yugry, VHL) – A midseason move from Khimik has led to Kostenko’s offensive game simply taking off with his January performance being quite impressive.  The tools have always been there for him but it hadn’t yielded much production until now.  Last season, he was strictly in the KHL, albeit with limited playing time.  Now, in their second-level division, Kostenko is finally starting to get some results.  He’s still a longer-term project and needs to work his way back to the KHL but last month’s performance was quite encouraging.

Stats: 8 GP, 5 goals, 8 assists, 13 points, +4 rating, 4 PIMS

Honourable Mention: Jacob Fowler (Boston College, NCAA) – While he wound up being the backup in the medal round, Fowler did pick up a win in his lone game in that situation.  Then he went back to college and continued as not just one of the top rookie goaltenders but one of the top goalies in college hockey altogether.  While he’s playing this well, he’s still a ways away from being ready to sign but it looks like the Canadiens have a quality goalie prospect in the lower level of their system.

NCAA Stats: 6 GP, 5-1-0 record, 2.51 GAA, .921 SV%
WJC Stats: 1 GP, 1-0-0 record, 2.00 GAA, .920 SV%