Canadiens’ prospects update (final Euro edition)

By Chris Boucher

Alexander Buturlin -RW (Drafted-99(2/39))

Buturlin enjoyed a successful preseason, as he picked up 9 points (6-3-9) through 10 preseason games. Although his offensive production dropped off during the regular season, he still managed to improve on his numbers from the 2001-02 season. Overall he played 58 regular season and playoff games. The 21-year old registered 23 points (9-14-23) to go along with 73 minutes in penalties. He enjoyed two 3-game point-scoring streaks, and three 2-game point-scoring streaks.

Buturlin averaged 0.40 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.22 PPG over last year’s 0.18 PPG average.

Alexander Perezhogin -C (Drafted-01(1/25))

Perezhogin recently completed a busy 2002-03 campaign. He not only competed in Russia’s top league, but he also played on the Russian World Junior Championship and Karjala Cup teams.

He finished the preseason with 3 points (1-2-3) through nine games. The 19-year-old jumped out of the starting gates as the regular season began; scoring points in 7 of the team’s first 10 games. He finished the season with 24 points (15-9-24) through 57 playoff and regular season games. The season also included one 4-game point-scoring streak, and four 2-game point-scoring streaks.

In tournament games, Perezhogin was shutout through 3 games during the Karjala Cup, but enjoyed a very strong World Junior Championship. The 6’0″, 190-lbs forward played 6 WJC games. His 9 points (3-6-9) were the 6th best point total in the tournament, while his plus-9 rating was 5th best. He also picked up 4 minutes in penalties to go along with 19 shots on goal, and a gold medal.

Konstantin Korneev -D (Drafted-02(9/275))

At only 18 years old Korneev remains the Canadiens youngest prospect. He started the year strong considering his age, as he picked up 2 points (1-1-2) through 4 preseason games. Although his scoring average dropped off during the regular season, the offensive-minded defenseman played quality minutes in Russia’s top league. He played 49 games with Soviet Wings. The 5’11”, 178-lbs defenseman managed 9 points (2-7-9), and 28 minutes in penalties.

Although Korneev wasn’t spectacular during the World Junior Championship. He impressed the scouting world with his solid and calm defensive play. He played 6 WJC games, picking up 2 assists, to go along with 4 minutes in penalties and 9 shots on goal. His plus-10 rating was the second-best plus-minus differential in the entire tournament.

Joni Puurula -G (Drafted-00(8/243))

Joni Puurula came off an impressive playoff run last year and established himself as HPK’s number one goalie going into this season. He started the season off strong, as he owned a .929 save percentage 4 games into the season. Unfortunately he struggled through the middle portion of the season. This was demonstrated again by his save percentage, as it dropped to a season-low .883 on October 20th. That said, the 20-year-old rebounded as the calendar year changed; increasing his save percentage to .920 as the season closed out. Overall, he played 34 games. He had a 22-8-4 record, to go along with an already mentioned .920 save percentage and 2.11 GAA.

Puurula’s playoff performance ran from spectacular to average. That said, he finished the spring campaign with a 6-5 record, an impressive 1.69 GAA, and a spectacular .931 save percentage.

Johan Eneqvist -F (Drafted-00(4/109))

Leksands IF’s Johan Eneqvist could not translate his impressive prospect tournament into offensive numbers in the Swedish Elite League. That said, he played a strong physical game on most nights. Overall, the 6’0″, 183-lbs forward played 42 games. He had 8 points (2-6-8), a plus-1 rating and 77 minutes in penalties.

the 21-year-old Eneqvist averaged 0.19 points-per-game this season; down 0.08 PPG compared to last year’s 0.27 PPG average.

Victor Ujcik -F (Drafted-01(9/266))

Viktor Ujcik lived through a roller coaster ride of a season; playing with 3 different Czech Extraliga teams. He started the year with Slavia Praha, moved to Plzen on October 22nd, and moved to Sparta Praha soon after. Overall, the 5’11”, 190-lbs winger played 49 games. He managed 34 points (23-11-34), and was plus-9 with 55 minutes in penalties.

Ujcik averaged 0.69 points-per-game this season; down 0.23 PPG compared to last year’s 0.92 PPG average.

Vadim Tarasov -G (Drafted-99(7/196))

Metallurgist HK’s Vadim Tarasov sat out more games than he played this season. He was not used as the team’s number one goalie, which seemed to have a direct affect on his final numbers. Overall the 25-year-old played in parts of 21 games. He had a 9-11-1 record to go along with a 2.82 GAA and an unofficial .900 save percentage. Although he was named to the Russian team roster that competed in the Karjala Cup, Tarasov didn’t see any action in the tournament.

Timo Vertala -W (Drafted-96(5/181))

Jokerit’s Timo Vertala struggled through most of this season. His offensive numbers were his lowest Finnish stats in 3 years. Overall, the 25-year-old played 41 games. He had 12 points (5-7-12), and was plus-1 with 14 minutes in penalties.

Hab you Heard?

-Martti Jarventie, the Habs’ 4th round pick in ’01 was transferred from Hamilton to Ilves Tampere in the Finnish Elite League on November 1st. Due to a shoulder injury that carried over from the 2001-02 season, he only saw his first action of the season in late November. Overall, the 27-year-old played 34 games. He had 13 points (3-10-13), a minus-6 rating and 40 minutes in penalties.

Jarventie also played 10 playoff games; picking up 2 assists to go along with an even plus/minus, and 4 minutes in penalties.

-Kim Staal, the Habs’ 4th round pick in ’96 struggled through injuries this season. Overall, he played 14 Swedish Elite League games. The 25-year-old managed 9 points (4-5-9), a minus-4 rating and 4 minutes in penalties. Two of his goals were scored on the powerplay.

Although he only played 14 games, Staal averaged 0.64 points-per-game this season; down 0.12 PPG compared to last year’s 0.76 PPG average.

-Niklas Anger, the Habs’ 5th round pick in ’95 plays with Brynas IF of the Swedish Elite League. He continues to play inconsistent hockey on a bad team. That said, he did finish as the team’s top scorer for the second consecutive season. Overall, the 25-year-old forward played 48 games. He had 32 points (20-12-32), a minus-17 rating and 28 minutes in penalties. Eight of his goals were scored on the powerplay, while his 151 shots on goal averaged out to over 3 shots per game.

Anger averaged 0.67 points-per-game this season; an improvement of 0.03 PPG compared to last year’s 0.64 PPG average.

-Ilkka Mikkola, the Habs’ 3rd round pick in ’97 enjoyed his strongest offensive season as a professional. Overall, the 24-year-old played 38 games. He managed 14 points (4-10-14), a plus-10 rating and 8 minutes in penalties. Mikkola also played 10 playoff games. He managed only 1 assist, but had a plus-4 rating to go along with 10 minutes in penalties.

Mikkola averaged 0.37 points-per-game this season; up 0.28 PPG compared to last year’s 0.09 PPG average.

Final European stats for the 2002-03 season.

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.