Habs’ development camp (day 3)

By Chris Boucher
Day three of the Canadiens Prospect Development Camp came and went with the same level of intensity as the previous two practices. Drills were up-tempo, players worked hard, and Clement Jodoin (AKA: King of the X’s and O’s) put together another masterfully, well organized practice.

Russian goaltender, Vadim Tarasov continues to wade through visa problems. But might be in Montreal by the weekend. He, along with Mike Komisarek (US Junior camp), and Duncan Milroy (Canadian Junior camp) continue to be the only notable absentees.

The Habs’ brain trust is well represented on site. With AndrĂ© Savard, Martin Madden, Michel Therrien, Guy Carbonneau, and Pierre Boivin all present and accounted for. Their main focus appears to be on Ron Hainsey (1st round, 2000) who continually demonstrates strong puck-handling skill to go along with his mobility, and positive attitude. Hainsey leads by example. He’s always smiling, and obviously enjoys the game with a contagious passion.

Non-property invitee Francois Fortier, a 21 year-old forward who split last season between Hartford and Quebec has shown a strong skating stride, as well as good puck-skills. Most surprising however, has been the 5’11”, 194 lbs. forward’s intensity level.

Alexandre Tremblay, another non-property invitee has continued to impress with his skill level. He has an NHL-calibre release, and shot. However, his lack of size may be the deciding factor in his potential future with Montreal.

Jerome Marois (9th round, 1999), who will likely begin the season in Quebec, or Mississippi of the ECHL has improved with each day of practice. Along with comfort has come confidence. Marois is quickly becoming almost impossible to knock off the puck. He continually uses his body effectively to keep opposing players away from the puck. This skill is sometimes undervalued. However it is this skill, along with a second effort that wins one-on-one battles along the boards.

Defenseman Andrew Archer (7th round, 2001) has demonstrated an impressive ability to be composed and confident with the puck. His patience, and ability to make the simple play has been evident even though the practice has been uniquely drill-oriented.

The one player however, who may surprise all on-lookers is Marcel Hossa (1st round, 2000). He’s added muscle-mass to an already impressive frame, and seems to be stronger on the puck than any other player in camp. He dominates one-on-one drills with a combination of strength, reach, and finesse. If he continues to improve throughout camp, he may just be the 19 year-old player on the NHL roster that AndrĂ© Savard keeps talking about.

The camp continues on Thursday, with an off day on Friday. Players will return to the ice on Saturday for the first of 7 straight days of on-ice workouts. As for the non-property invitees in camp; there is a window after the draft where teams may sign any players who were eligible for the draft, but were not selected. During this time, the player may sign with any NHL club as a free agent. The window lasts until the player’s CHL team begins regular season play. After that, he must wait until after the following NHL draft.

Hab you heard?

-Goaltender Luc Belanger, who played for UQTR in the CIAU last season has already been signed by the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in Quebec.

-The Citadelles also confirmed that beginning this season they will have an affiliation with the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL, and the New-Mexico Scorpions of the CHL.

Click on the Canadiens’ logo at the top left of the page to see a listing of the Habs’ top prospects. Including biographical information, and up-to-date stats.

Feel free to E-MAIL me with any questions or comments (In English or French). Just click on my name at the top of this page. I am a former goaltender with writing, scouting, and coaching experience