Hab prospects’ year-end review (part 1)

By pbadmin

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

Michigan’s Komisarek entered this past season with a question mark attached to his offensive ability. No one questioned the 6’4″, 230-lbs defenseman’s strength, size or commitment. The overlying concern remained whether or not he could contribute offensively, despite the fact that his freshman numbers were comparable to those put up by fellow Hab draft pick Ron Hainsey in his freshman season.

Komisarek was aware of the need to step up his offense. Although he didn’t burn up the league, he still rose to the challenge on his way to registering 30 points (11-19-30) through 40 games. He was one of only two sophomores to be named a CCHA All-Conference first team all-star, and finished the season with the second-best point total among CCHA defenseman during intra-conference play.

Another testament to the Islip Terrace native’s strong intra-conference play was his plus/minus, as he finished with the top rating among CCHA defenseman during league games. Overall, his plus-23 rating was good enough for a third-place tie among his teammates.

The move to offense wasn’t made at the sacrifice of Komisarek’s defensive play. In fact, he was named the CCHA’s top defensive defenseman as he helped lead Michigan to the regular season championship. He was also named the league’s top defensive player for the week ending November 25th.

Komisarek participated in the World Junior Championship with team USA over the Christmas holidays. The US finished 5th in the tournament with a 4-1-2 record, as the 20-year-old registered 2 assists through 6 games. He left the Czech Republic with a minus -1 rating to go along with 14 minutes in penalties, and 5 shots on goal.

Statistically, Komisarek was the most improved Canadiens’ prospect this season, as he nearly doubled his freshman point per game average. He finished this season with an average of 0.75 PPG compared to 0.38 the year before; an improvement of 0.37 PPG.

He enjoyed one point-scoring streak of 4 games, as well as three other streaks lasting 3 games each. In comparison, his longest scoreless drought lasted 3 games; a frustration he weathered on 3 different occasions throughout the season.

AndrĂ© Savard has stated publicly that he’d like to sign Komisarek as soon as this summer. “We’re happy with his improvement,” the Habs’ GM said. “He has good hockey sense and is a good passer. But he still needs to improve his lateral movement, pivots and reaction time during critical situations.” The big defenseman on the other hand, indicated early in the season that he hoped to complete his degree before moving on to professional hockey.

Chris Dyment -D (Drafted-99(4/97))

Boston University’s Chris Dyment suffered through an incredibly frustrating junior season in 2000-01. He rebounded in 2001-02 to find his offensive game, while also improving his defensive positioning and anticipation.

A native of Massachusetts, Dyment finished the season as the second most improved prospect (statistically) in the Habs’ system. He more than doubled his PPG average, going from 0.30 PPG in his junior season to 0.65 PPG as a senior; an improvement of 0.35 PPG. The 6’3″, 202-lbs defenseman registered 24 points (7-17-24) through 38 games. He also finished with an impressive plus-23 rating; eight points higher than any other BU player.

Dyment was the team’s co-captain, and played on the top defensive pairing with highly touted, 2002 draft-eligible Ryan Whitney. Although he was a presence in almost every game, Dyment tended to do his scoring in bunches. He enjoyed 6 multi-point games, where he scored 13 of his 24 points. He had one point-scoring streak of 4 games, as well as another span where he scored at least one point in 3 straight contests. At the other end of the spectrum, his longest scoreless drought lasted 5 games.

Like Komisarek, Dyment was named the top defensive defenseman in his league. He was also named a league second team all-star. On top of these awards, the right handed defenseman was named the Hockey East’s top player for the week ending October 29th, the top defensive player for the week ending December 10th, and the top defensive player for the week ending February 25th.

Technically, the Canadiens have until June 1st of 2003 to sign Dyment. However, his talent combined with a lack of big, mobile right handed defenseman throughout the league leads most observers to believe he will be signed over the summer.

Matt Shasby -D (Drafted-99(5/150))

Alaska-Anchorage University’s Matt Shasby finished the season as the top offensive defensive prospect (PPG) in the Habs’ system, despite playing on a team containing no other NHL draftees. The junior defenseman made solid improvements in all aspects of his game, while he raised his PPG average from 0.55 as a sophomore to 0.77; an improvement of 0.22 PPG. This increased output allowed Shasby to become the 6th most improved prospect (statistically) in the Habs’ system.

He played 35 games. Registering 27 points (7-20-27), good enough for second place on UAA. He earned a birth on the all-WCHA second all-star team, and was the first non-goalie in team history to receive the honour. His point total was nearly double any other Alaska defenseman, and he was named the WCHA’s top defensive player for the week ending February 10th.

Shasby experienced his greatest success during the early part of the 2002 calendar year. Between January 4th and February 15th, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman registered at least one point in 13 of 14 games. While putting together successive point-scoring streaks of 7 and 6 games. He also enjoyed one other streak of 3 straight games with at least one point.

The 21-year-old defenseman became more of a physical presence this season, at times playing the game with an obvious edge. He received 2 game-misconduct penalties for hitting from behind. Once during an October 13th game against Boston College, while the other came during a January 2nd game against Wisconsin. The first infraction earned Shasby a 1 game suspension. He more than doubled his penalty minutes compared to the 2000-01 season.

With five of UAA’s top 10 scorers not returning next season, the team is likely to take a step back as far as winning is concerned. Shasby has already been named captain next season, although an NHL contract offer could be coming this summer. Shasby has a huge upside, and his development would only benefit from an increase in the level of competition.

**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 stats.

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