Jimmy Murphy works out of Boston for, among other things, espn.com and nesn.com.  Last Friday he twittered  this.

Source told me today that Habs prospect Louis Leblanc, now represented by Pat Brisson, will leave Harvard and play in Hamilton (AHL) 2010-11 3:09 PM May 28th via web

Murphy has some very good sources, especially in New England.  However he, or his source,  may be overestimating the level of Leblanc’s development. 

Couple of things.  First, if Leblanc hired an agent he would be ineligible to play NCAA athletics.  Therefore Brisson’s designation, in the convoluted world of US college athletics “shamateurism”. would be “family advisor”.   

Secondly, although Leblanc led the Crimson in goalscoring and points and he used his off ice time to grow physically he still weighs under 190 pounds.  In other words, not ready for the battles that occur even in minor professional hockey.  His other option is the QMJHL, which does not have a great record when it comes to developing players.

Leblanc will be making a decision sometime after this development camp comes to an end.  He’ll get a report card from the Canadiens which will probably include the advice to continue his physical and hockey development at Harvard.  As bonus he’ll be getting a first class education.  Through the Crimson weight rooms he’ll gain another ten pounds  improve his shot and we’ll go through this again next summer.

There is, of course, precedent for Leblanc turning his back on Harvard.  Max Pacioretty played one year at the University of Michigan and then turned professional.   As a first year pro, he wound up dividing his time between the Canadiens and Hamilton.  The jury is very much out on whether the Habs elevated Pacioretty too soon .  Still, influencing the Canadiens decision at the time, Pacioretty was much further along physically at 6’2” and 200 pounds.  Leblanc, at age 19, is 6’0” 180 pounds.