The Canadiens play their second game Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Flyers. The Hamilton Bulldogs start their season next Friday at home against the St. John’s Ice Caps. Meanwhile, ten Canadiens draft picks are well into their seasons either in Canadian junior hockey or in the European Elite Leagues.
Canadiens 2012 second round draft choice Dalton Thrower has had an interesting time of it. At the end of last season Saskatoon traded him to the Vancouver Giants. Meanwhile he attended Canadiens training camp and was then shipped down to the Hamilton Bulldogs camp. He was finally released to join the Giants last Sunday. His junior club was waiting for him and promptly named him team captain. He is due to play his first game with the team Friday night at Brandon.
Meanwhile in the B.C. interior at Kamloops, Tim Bozon has everyone scratching their heads. Bozon, who was the Habs third round choice in 2012, has failed to score a single point through his first four games of the Blazers’ WHL season. He is also minus-4. This comes on the heels of last year’s 36 goal and 91 point season. He’ll try to break out of it Friday night at home against Victoria. (You can read about Bozon’s struggles here)
There are four Canadiens draft picks playing in the Quebec League.
Baie Comeau right winger Jérémy Grégoire, a 6th round pick this year (176th) is off to a great start with 5 goals and 3 assists in five games.
Chicoutimi’s Charles Hudon has matched that pace; 5 goals, 3 assists in five games.
Slow start for Martin Reway, the Slovak leftwinger playing for Gatineau. He has just an assist through his first 3 games.
And in Halifax, the Canadiens second round pick goaltender Zach Fucale is a so-so 3-3-0 with a 2.54GAA and .897 save percentage.
In the Ontario league, Brady Vail of the Windsor Spitfires and Sudbury’s Connor Crisp are the early story.
Crisp, who was traded to Sudbury by the Erie Otters in the off season, has 3 goals and 2 assists his first four games.
The Florida-born Vail has been even more productive with 2 goals and 6 points in three games.
Habs 2013 first round draft pick Michael McCarron has started his junior career in London with a goal, assist and a fight in his first two games.
There are three playing in European Elite Leagues. In what is now called the Swedish Hockey League, 2012 2nd round pick Sebastian Collberg with Frolunda in Gothenberg and Jacob de la Rose taken in this year’s second round, at Leksand plus in Finland Artturi Lehkonen at KalPa.
18 year old Lehkonen, playing against men in Finland’s SM-liga is the European story. He has a team leading eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in eight games for Kuopio KalPa. Lehkonen was the SM-liga rookie of the year last season. He was the Canadiens third pick. 55th overall in this year’s draft.
De la Rose (2013-2nd round-34th overall) was held off the scoresheet in 2-1 loss at Skellefteå Friday night. In eight games he has a goal and 2 assists.
Collberg hasn’t registered a point in his three games with the Frölunda Indians. He missed the Indians’ first four games of the season while taking part in the Canadiens training camp. Collberg was the Canadiens 2nd round pick (33rd) in 2012.