Milroy sparkles in playoffs
Duncan Milroy has used this playoff season to assert himself as a big-game performer. His success has allowed him to shine during the most pressure-packed portion of any season, in any league. He currently leads the entire WHL in playoff scoring, and is the third highest playoff scorer in the entire CHL; behind the Erie Otters’ duo of Cory Pecker and Brad Boyes.The Montréal Canadiens drafted Milroy in the second round (37th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He entered the draft as the seventh-ranked skater in North America. The fact that the offensively gifted right winger was still available can only be described as a gift to the Habs’ organization and scouts.Heading into last year’s draft Milroy had enjoyed a career-season. He increased his point-per-game average by nearly 1 point-per-game; from 0.44 PPG in 99-00 to 1.35 PPG in 00-01. In addition, he more than doubled his goal total, while almost quadrupling his assist contribution.The 6’0″, 185-lbs forward also enjoyed a strong playoff season last year. He ended the 00-01 playoffs as the 5th ranked scorer, as he managed 21 points (9-12-21) through 19 games.Milroy didn’t start the 01-02 season as well as expected. In fact, he was significantly short of his 00-01 PPG average well into this season. As late as Christmas he was only on pace for a 70 point campaign. The dip in production was the likely product of trade rumours involving his eventual trade to the Kootenay Ice. He was shutout during his last 3 games with Swift Current, and produced only 4 points through his first 6 games with the Ice. Those 6 games included a 4-game pointless streak.The new calendar year seemed to produce a new player in Milroy. To the point where the entire season could be divided into two separate half-seasons with incredibly different results. Through the season’s first 32 games he scored 35 points (21-14-35), but through the final 32 games of the season Milroy produced 52 points (24-28-52); an impressive average of 1.62 PPG.He was the poster boy for consistency as the year progressed. From January 1st onward his longest pointless drought was only 2 games. He scored at least one point in 18 of the season’s last 20 games. During the entire season he enjoyed two 7-game point-scoring streaks, one 6-game point-scoring streak, and two streaks where he scored at least one point in 5 straight games.The playoffs provided Milroy the opportunity to continue his strong play. He’s been held off the score sheet in only 4 of 18 playoff games to date. His 32 points (14-18-32) break down to a 1.78 PPG average, and lead the league by an incredible 11 points. He has ten multi-point games in the playoffs, including two 4-point games and three 3-point nights. He’s become a huge part of Kootenay’s playoff success. The team is currently fighting for the WHL championship. They have a 13-5 record, but are 1-3 when Milroy is shutout.He’s leading the WHL in goals; 3 ahead of his nearest rival. And is tops in assists; with a 6-assist cushion over any other player. The 19-year-old was the WHL’s player of the month in January, and earned player of the week honours on two different occasions; April 1st, and April 21st.Milroy’s stock is increasing at an incredible rate. The playoffs are the toughest part of any season. They produce a failing environment for some players, while allowing others to shine. Racking up as many points as Milroy is at this point in the year is a significant step in his development. He’s shooting up the Habs’ prospect list, and is setting himself up for a significant role on Canada’s 2003 World Junior team.
**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 updated 2001-02 stats.
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