With the Junior Hockey season finally upon us we can again begin to follow the Montreal Canadiens’ junior prospects. The entry draft not only gave us a few more players to follow, but also gave us one less player to follow, as Gregor Baumgartner re-entered the 99 draft when Montreal failed to sign him to a contract prior to the imposed deadline.
The old faces include Francois Beauchemin, a hard-nosed defenseman who was Montreal’s 3rd choice in the 98 draft, and is currently playing with Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL; Eric Chouinard, a tall finesse player who was the Habs’ 1st choice in the 98 draft, and is currently playing for Quebec in the QMJHL; And Michael Ryder, a natural scorer who was the Habs’ 8th choice in the 98 draft, and is currently playing with Hull in the QMJHL.
Missing faces include Jason Ward, an intensity driven winger who was the Habs’ 1st choice in the 97 draft, and is no longer of junior age. Ward is currently playing with Quebec, Montreal’s AHL affiliate. The final missing face is Mike Ribeiro, the CHL’s leading scorer last season and the Habs’ 2nd choice in the 98 draft. Ribeiro made the Canadiens’ roster out of training camp. He played in the opening game against Toronto with mixed results. He looked good on the power play setting up two of his teammates for good scoring opportunities. But was often moved easily off the puck by the bigger and stronger Maple Leaf players.
The new faces include Alexander Buturlin, a speedy Russian who was the Habs’ 2nd round pick in the 99 draft. He looked good in the Habs’ training camp before going down with a knee injury. He was drafted by the OHL’s Sarnia Sting during the import draft, and will likely play for them as soon as his injured knee allows; Matt Carkner, a big-strong defensive defenseman who was also chosen in the 2nd round of the 99 draft. He is currently playing for Peterborough of the OHL. Other 99 draft choices that we will be keeping an eye on are Dusty Jamieson (5th round), Sean Dixon (6th round),Mark-Andre Thinel (5th round), Chris Dyment (4th round), Evan Lindsay (4th round), and Matt Shasby (5th round).
Habs’ 1999-00 Junior Prospects Stats
Player Team GP G A PTS
Thinel Victoriaville 9 10 10 20
Ryder Hull 11 8 12 20
Chouinard Quebec 6 6 4 10
Beauchemin Bathurst 11 2 7 9
Jamieson Erie 3 0 1 1
Dixon Sarnia 4 0 1 1
Carkner Peterborough 4 0 0 0
Hab You Heard?
Montreal’s AHL affiliate, The Quebec Citadelles lost their first game 4-1 to Hartford. Jesse Belanger scored the Citadelles goal, with assists to Mcbain and Zholtok. It was an even strength goal.
Look for Habs’ junior prospects weekly updates beginning next week.