Canadiens: AHL and ECHL prospects update

By Dan Linn





With only half the roster Canadiens prospects last year, the Hamilton<br />Bulldogs were one of the top AHL teams in the leagues hi

With
only half the roster Canadiens prospects last year, the Hamilton Bulldogs were
one of the top AHL teams in the leagues history, breaking all kinds of records
along the way, coming one win away from a championship cup for a champion team.
This year the team is almost completely Canadiens, with the exception of four
roster spots filled by Tampa Bay Lighting prospects. A new coach, a new
conference, and lots of new faces on the team, the Hamilton Bulldogs start the
new season and look to build a solid foundation as the farm team.

 

For
the Bulldogs, there are five first year professionals on the team, Alex
Perezhogin, Chris Higgins, Jonathan Ferland, Duncan Milroy,
and Andrew
Archer
. Also three players in their second year of professional hockey, Mike
Komisarek, Tomas Plekanec,
and Josef Balej, this team has a lot of
young inexperienced players that Coach Jarvis will have to mold into shape.

 

AHL

 

Tomas
Plekanec, C –
– Plekanec has been the Dogs best player so far, as he
impressed management in camp, and is showing that confidence pays off. Getting
more ice time has been a key to success for the young Czech center, who has
been moved up to the second line center, and at times, first line. He’s also
getting quality power play time, and looks to have a fine scoring touch with
another second year pro, Josef Balej. Plekanec has been setting up a lot of
nice plays, as he has produced the most consistently of all the forwards.

 

Josef
Balej, RW –
– After being returned to the WHL as an overager, a
disappointing first year in the AHL, and not much luck at the Habs camp, things
weren’t looking good for Balej. But don’t tell him that, as he has been flying
up and down the ice shooting the puck at will. This success might give Balej
the confidence to produce on a nightly basis, and having Plekanec feed him the
puck won’t hurt his chances. His hard work is paying off so far on the
scoresheet which puts him near the top of the team in scoring. Balej really
seems to have his confidence going, as he is generating a lot of scoring chances,
using his speed to his advantage.

 

Alex
Perezhogin, RW –
– Perezhogin comes over to North America after a
successful season playing on one of the top lines in the Russian Super League.
He has never played outside the Russian system, and does not speak English very
well, which is bound to cause him numerous problems. But there’s no denying
that he has an impressive skill set with which to work with. His skating,
speed, and offensive abilities should be a treat for fans, as he starts to
learn his way around the smaller rink and different playing styles. So far the
goals haven’t come, but he’s been playing on the top line for the most part,
and getting quality power play time. He’s getting his chances.

 

Mike
Komisarek, D –
– Not many expected Komisarek to be back in the AHL after
such an impressive performance as a rookie. But hopefully Komisarek works on
some things while he’s down, as this is the time for him to reflect and improve
upon himself without the pressure of NHL hockey. So far he has picked up where
he left off, as one of the top defensemen on the team, and has been taking the
body more so this year then last.

 

Francois
Beauchemin, D –
– After being one of the top defensemen in the AHL
last year, Beauchemin continues to improve upon his game. He did struggle
somewhat after being sent down, but has picked it up recently with the help of
his partner from last year, Mike Komisarek. Beauchemin will get top pairing ice
time, on both the PP and the PK. Has been shooting the puck more then any
Bulldog so far this season.

 

Jonathan
Ferland, RW –
– The physical winger has been taking the body, and showing
signs of improvement through each game. He has been getting a few good chances
on offense, but they haven’t been dropping for him yet. He has been playing on
the third line, getting some decent ice time, as he is good along the boards
and in his own end.

 

M-A
Thinel, RW –
Thinel has bounced around the lineup, from first line to
third line to press box. Thinel needs to show what he can do with the puck, as
he has soft hands, but has had trouble producing and along the boards.

 

Duncan
Milroy, RW –
– Milroy just returned from injury to play in his first
professional game. He saw less and less ice time, but he hasn’t played much
hockey since April, outside of camp and off season training. Milroy and others
may have a tough time getting top ice time, as there are several players on the
team in front of them, a problem that Plekanec and Balej ran into last season.

 

Chris
Higgins, C –
– After a brief stint in the NHL, Higgins just played in his
first AHL game of his career. So far this season, Higgins hasn’t seen much
action, but that should change after a few games in the AHL adapting to speed
and physical play of game. Hopefully Higgins can provide the Bulldogs with a
much needed offensive spark, while playing a solid all round game. After being
one of the top players in the NCAA last year, Higgins will be a welcome
addition to an impressive lineup in Hamilton.

 

Jerome
Marois, LW –
– Has been sent down to the ECHL and loaned to the Long
Beach Ice Dogs. In Hamilton he played little, and did not have much success in
those games.

 

ECHL

 

Matt
Shasby, D –
– Another first year professional, Shasby is fresh off
playing four years in the NCAA, after spending some time in the USHL as well.
Shasby has gotten off to a good start, as one of the team’s top scorers.

 

Christian
Larrivee, RW –
– He has setup a couple of plays so far, but will need to
really show something in the ECHL, as the skill level in Hamilton is very high
right now, which makes it hard for a player to get ice time. This may be a good
position for him, as he can work on improving his game, with little to no
pressure on him, and next year there should be more roster spots available on
the Bulldogs roster.

 

Name

Games

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

Pims

Tomas Plekanec

8

3

5

8

-1

18

Josef Balej

8

2

4

6

-1

2

Alex Perezhogin

8

0

2

2

0

4

Mike Komisarek

5

0

2

2

-2

15

Francois Beauchemin

8

1

0

1

-2

8

Jonathan Ferland

8

0

1

1

+2

8

M-A-Thinel

5

0

1

1

-2

2

J-F Damphousse

4

0

0

0

0

0

Duncan Milroy

1

0

0

0

0

0

Chris Higgins

1

0

0

0

0

0

Jerome Marois

2

0

0

0

-2

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECHL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Shasby

6

1

4

5

+1

4

Christian Larrivee

6

0

3

3

+2

6

Jerome Marois

0

0

0

0

 

0