Canadiens’ prospects update

By Chris Boucher

Mathieu Garon -G (Drafted-96(2/44))

Garon continues to put up stellar numbers in the AHL, although it certainly helps to be playing on the league’s top team. He’s played in 15 games, through which he’s posted an 11-2-1 record to go along with a 1.99 GAA, and .928 save percentage.

Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))

The Utah Grizzlies’ Eric Chouinard returned from injury on November 11th. He’s taken some time to round back into form, but a healthy Chouinard is natural goal-scorer. He has points in 8 of Utah’s last 10 games, and is averaging 1.30 PPG over that span. The 22-year-old forward has played 23 games. He has 19 points (9-10-19), and is plus-2 with 10 minutes in penalties.

Chouinard is averaging 0.83 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.18 PPG over last year’s 0.65 PPG average.

Jason Ward -F (Drafted-97(1/11))

Ward managed 11 points through his last 4 games. He’s among the league’s leading scorers, as he sits second in the league in goals, assists, points and plus/minus. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs winger has played 38 games. He has 51 points (19-32-51), and is plus-23 with 41 minutes in penalties. Seven of his goals were scored on the powerplay, while 2 others were produced shorthanded. He’s also directed 112 shots on goal.

Ward is averaging 1.34 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.61 PPG over last year’s 0.73 PPG average.

Mike Komisarek -D (Drafted-01(1/7))

Komisarek continues to improve with each passing game. He picked up 4 points through his last 2 games, including a 3-assist night on December 29th. Overall, the 6’4″, 240-lbs defenseman has played 38 games. He has 19 points (2-17-19), and is plus-15 with 62 minutes in penalties. He’s also managed 95 shots on net.

Komisarek’s current PPG average of 0.50 is almost identical to Ron Hainsey’s 0.49 average from last season.

Tomas Plekanec -F (Drafted-01(3/71))

Plekanec managed 1 point through his last 4 games. His lone point came during a 4-1 win over Cincinnati on December 21st . Overall, the 5’10”, 200-lbs forward has played 35 games. He has 19 points (8-11-19), and is plus-7 with 22 minutes in penalties. Three of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 57 shots on goal.

Josef Balej -RW (Drafted-00(3/78))

Balej picked up 1 point through his last 2 games. Injury problems continue to slow Balej’s progression, as he’s already missed 29 games this season; the addition of Czerkawski will certainly take a chunk our of Balej’s quality minutes. Overall, the 6’0″, 187-lbs winger has played 16 games. He has 6 points (2-4-6), with 2 minutes in penalties, and an even plus/minus. One of his goals was scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 33 shots on goal.

Marcel Hossa -C/W (Drafted-00(1/16))

Hossa picked up 2 points through his last 2 games. Both points came during a 4-1 win over St. John’s on December 28th. Overall, the 6’2″, 211-lbs winger has played 35 games. He has 28 points (16-12-28), and is plus-18 with 18 minutes in penalties. He’s also directed 64 shots on goal, and leads the league with an average of 1 goal for every 4 shots taken; a 0.25 shooting percentage.

Hossa is averaging 0.80 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.16 PPG compared to last year’s 0.64 PPG average.

Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))

Beauchemin is among Hamilton’s most improved players. He managed 2 assists through his last 3 games, and leads the entire AHL with a plus-24 rating. Overall, the 6’0′, 206-lbs defenseman has played 34 games. He has 14 points (4-10-14), and is plus-24 with 51 minutes in penalties. He’s also directed 58 shots on goal.

Beauchemin is averaging 0.41 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.07 PPG compared to last year’s 0.34 PPG average.

Marc-Andre Thinel -RW (Drafted-99(5/145))

Thinel has bounced between the ECHL and the AHL all season. The 5’11’, 183-lbs winger has played 15 AHL games, where he has 6 points (1-5-6), and is plus1 with 2 penalty minutes. He’s also played in 8 ECHL games, where he’s picked up 10 points (3-7-10).

Thinel is averaging 0.40 points-per-game in the AHL this season; an improvement of 0.26 PPG over last year’s disappointing 0.14 PPG average.

Michael Ryder -W (Drafted-98(8/216))

Ryder has a point in each of his last 2 games. Ice time and opportunity continues to be the only thing separating Ryder and success. Overall, The 6’1′, 195-lbs winger has played 28 games. He has 23 points (8-15-23), and is plus-7 with 16 minutes in penalties. He’s also directed 76 shots on goal.

Ryder is also averaging 0.88 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.32 PPG compared to last year’s 0.56 PPG average.

Current stats up to and including games played December 31st, 2002.

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.