Canadiens: CHL, NCAA and European prospect update

By Dan Linn





Here’s a look at how the Montreal Canadiens prospects in the CHL, NCAA,<br />and the European leagues are doing so far

 

 

Here’s
a look at how the Montreal Canadiens prospects in the CHL, NCAA, and the
European leagues are doing so far. Goalies will be treated in a separate
article. The only prospect that has yet to play is Ryan O’Byrne, who
will start his season this Friday.

 

Things
are going very well so far for the group. Three players are the top scorers on
their team, with five players either leading or second on the team in scoring.
Players are grouped by league, and all their stats are at the bottom of the
article.

 

QMJHL

Michael
Lambert, LW
— So far Lambert is off to a great start. He is the leading
scorer of the PEI Rocket, and he’s currently fourth in the QMJHL in scoring.
Lambert is playing for a contract, as he must be signed by June 1st 2004
or he will reenter the draft. Perhaps this fact and a new coach in Alain
Vigneault has gotten him to produce at such a high level. After scoring 60 pts
last year, Lambert is well on his way to surpass those numbers as long as he
continues to get on the scoresheet, playing on the top line. He was named
offensive player of the week last week.

 

Cory
Urquhart, C –
– Picking up from last seasons playoffs, Urquhart is second
on the PEI Rocket in scoring, and seventh in the Q in scoring, while playing on
the top line. He has had some difficulties in the faceoff circle so far this
season.

 

Maxim
Lapierre, C –
– Playing on the third line, Lapierre is playing in a
defensive role, and has look good on the PK. A gritty, hard working player,
Lapierre won’t rack up the points, as at times he has tough guy Jimmy Bonneau
on his wing.

 

Jimmy
Bonneau, LW –
– Not drafted for his scoring touch, Bonneau is one of the
top fighters in the QMJHL in just his second season. Not afraid to drop the
gloves with anyone, Bonneau is no stranger to the penalty box. He must work
hard to improve on every area of the game outside of fighting, if he wants to
make it to the next level. He’s got a few years to see if he can do more then
just fight, which remains to be seen.

 

Danny
Stewart, LW –
– His linemate is the much hyped Sidney Crosby, but Stewart
is producing, and that’s got to make management happy. Currently, he’s seventh
in the Q in scoring, with two teammates in front of him. What is impressive
about this season is that he has shown improvement in his own end, plus a
willingness to pass the puck. He must cut back on unnecessary penalties, and
add some size, but playing with the top scorer in the QMJHL hopefully shows him
a few things.

 

OHL

Corey
Locke, C –
– Locke is currently third in the OHL in scoring, and first
in scoring on his team. Things have not been easy in Ottawa, as Locke has had a
few different linemates so far this season, after having the same wingers game
after game last year.

 

Andre
Deveaux, C –
– Deveaux who is also playing for a contract, or he will
reenter the draft. This may be a factor as to his recent success, but so far
Deveaux is tied for second in team scoring. Where he really needed to show
improvement was in his defensive zone play, and he’s done a complete turnaround
so far. After being a team low -22 last year (mostly while playing on
Belleville), he has shown a better effort on the ice, and is a team high +11.

 

Mark
Flood, D –
– Not only is Flood the top scoring defensemen on his team,
he is the top scorer on his team. So far Flood has been effective as the team’s
power play specialist, as he moves the puck well, and has been producing on a
nightly basis.

 

NCAA

Ryan
Glenn, D –
– Glenn is playing his final season in the NCAA, and so far
his team is playing better, but Glenn will need to step up his game
offensively. A team leader that sees a lot of ice time, Glenn will hope to land
a spot with Hamilton (AHL) or Columbus (ECHL) next season, has his work cut out
for him.

 

Scott
Selig, RW –
– Selig is also playing in his final season in the NCAA and
has not found the success he had in prep school, and continues to struggle to
produce. This does not bode well for him if he is to earn a contract this
summer.

 

Ryan
O’Byrne, D –
– He has yet to play a game this season, but Cornell will
open their season this Friday night. His team did play an exhibition game
against the U-18 Team USA, where they won 7-2, but no points for O’Byrne.

 

Sweden

Johan
Eneqvist, C –
– He’s off to a good start playing in the tier-2 league. The
center/left wing has been getting time playing on the right wing so far, but he
has played some center. Eneqvist already has as many points this year, as he
had all of last year playing on the fourth line for Leksand.

 

Finland

Oskari
Korpikari, D –
– He’s doing a good job staying in the lineup. Playing on
the third pairing in the SM-Liiga is a great experience for the young
defenseman, which should hopefully pay dividends in a few years.

 

Russia

Konstantin
Korneev, D –
– He’s not getting the ice time he had last year, as he is
playing on the fourth pairing for AK Bars. Korneev numbers have taken a hit,
but this is to be expected with less ice time.

 

Andrei
Kastsitsyn, LW –
– He;s been up, down, and is now back up but has yet
to dress for CSKA in his second stint. Hopefully Kastsitsyn can get a few games
in with the big club, or be sent back down to the junior club, as he needs to
play and play often, no matter what league it may be.

 

Alex
Buturlin, LW –
– Playing on the top line for Lada, Buturlin has returned
from injury, and is playing well. If he keeps producing, it may force
management to consider brining him over to North America at some point in the
future.

 

Czech

Tomas
Linhart, D –
– Somewhat like Kastsitsyn, Linhart has been on a yo-yo,
playing in the men’s league, Division 1, and also getting some games in with
the junior club as well. He has just recently played for another Division 1
team.