Canadiens’ prospects update (Pro edition)

By Chris Boucher

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

Ward managed 12 points through his last 10 games. He leads the entire AHL in scoring, and continues to contribute both offensively and defensively. His 30 goals are good enough for 2nd place, while his 40 assists place him fourth in the league. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs winger has played 62 games. He has 70 points (30-40-70), and is plus-26 (5th in the league) with 68 minutes in penalties. Nine of his goals were scored on the powerplay, while 4 others were produced shorthanded. He’s also directed 182 shots on goal.

Ward is averaging 1.13 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.40 PPG over last year’s 0.73 PPG average. This is the third best season-to-season improvement among Hab prospects.

Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))

Hainsey’s season is in jeopardy due to a serious knee injury suffered on February 14th. The original prognosis is for a 4 to 6 week layoff. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 27 games. He has 11 points (1-10-11), and is +4 with 20 minutes in penalties. He’s directed 64 shots on goal.

Hainsey is averaging 0.41 points-per-game this season; a regression of 0.08 PPG compared to last year’s 0.49 PPG average.

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

Komisarek is currently playing with MontrĂ©al. Prior to his promotion he had picked up 6 points through his previous 10 games. Overall, the 6’4″, 240-lbs defenseman has played 56 games. He has 30 points (5-25-30), and is plus-27 with 79 minutes in penalties. He’s also managed 127 shots on net.

Komisarek’s 0.54 PPG average is quite comparable to Ron Hainsey’s 2001-02 PPG average.

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

Plekanec has managed 10 points through his last 10 games. Overall, the 5’10”, 200-lbs forward has played 59 games. He has 40 points (16-24-40), and is plus-10 with 54 minutes in penalties. Five of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 110 shots on goal.

Plekanec’s 0.68 PPG average is similar to Eric Chouinard’s AHL rookie season average of 0.69 PPG.

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

Struggling through injury problems for most of the season, Balej has recently rebounded; scoring 3 goals and adding 4 assists through his last 10 games. Overall, the 6’0″, 187-lbs winger has played 38 games. He has 16 points (5-11-16), and is plus-3 rating with 27 minutes in penalties. Two of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 71 shots on goal.

Balej’s 0.42 PPG average is a reflection of his injury struggles and not necessarily his talent.

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

Beauchemin is among the Canadiens’ most improved players. He’s managed 7 points through his last 10 games, and is currently on a 4-game point-scoring streak. Overall, the 6’0′, 206-lbs defenseman has played 58 games He has 24 points (5-19-24), and his plus-29 rating is second best in the entire league. He also has 66 minutes in penalties, while directing 99 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. Even more impressive is the improvement in his plus minus, which has swung 40 points from last season’s minus-11 rating.

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

Thinel has averaged more than a point-per-game while playing in the ECHL, and has 10 points (2-8-10) through 23 AHL games. The 5’11’, 183-lbs winger just recently returned to the AHL’s Utah Grizzlies and has picked up 5 points through his last 10 games.

Thinel is averaging 0.43 points-per-game in the AHL this season; an improvement of 0.29 PPG over last year’s disappointing 0.14 PPG average.

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

Ryder is the most improved Habs’ prospect and has managed 11 points through his last 10 games. Overall, The 6’1′, 195-lbs winger has played 51 games. He has 54 points (26-28-54), and is plus-13 with 31 minutes in penalties. He’s also directed 158 shots on goal. His point total is good enough for 16th place among the AHL’s top scorers.

Ryder is also averaging 1.06 points-per-game this season; an impressive improvement of 0.50 PPG compared to last year’s 0.56 PPG average.

Current stats up to and including games played February 22nd, 2003.

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