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Top 10 Habs Prospects

Guest habsguy26

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Well... I have nothing noteworthy to say, so without any sort of transition, let's just jump into this, shall we?

1) Nathan Beaulieu, D

Drafted: 1(17), 2011

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 27, G: 7, A: 16, P: 23, PIM: 51, +/-: +18

The Canadiens' number one selection in the 2011 entry draft debuts in the number one spot. Beaulieu spent last season with the stacked Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL. With Saint John, Beaulieu won a Memorial Cup championship, and was named to the tournament's all-star team. He had 12 goals and 33 assists. A mobile, puck-moving defenseman, Beaulieu rounded out his play during his draft year. In addition to his array of skills and awareness on the ice, namely an ability to quarterback the powerplay and make things happen offensively, Beaulieu is a sound risk-taker. His talent is part of a greater, more complete package. Scouts have considered Beaulieu to be developing a "special" skillset. This year, he is back in Saint John for another Mem. Cup run.

2) Brendan Gallagher, RW

Drafted: 5(147), 2010

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 24, G: 19, A: 20, P: 39, PIM: 35, +/-: +9

No Vancouver Giant stood taller last season than 5'8 Brendan Gallagher, who has enjoyed the view near the top of the WHL in scoring in consecutive seasons. The fifth-round pick was a leader for the Giants, and a crucial part of their offense. In 66 games, Gallagher amassed 44 goals and 47 assists, best on the team, and eighth-best in the WHL .He was also among the league leaders in plus/minus (with plus-30), and amassed 108 penalty minutes. Overall, Gallagher possesses an intriguing combination of pure talent, instinct for the game, and competitive fire.

3) Danny Kristo, RW

Drafted: 2(56), 2008

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 14, G: 7, A: 10 , P: 17, PIM: 8 , +/-: 0

Kristo enjoyed a lauded freshman season with the University of North Dakota, but his sophomore season was decidedly less agreeable. He got off to a slow start, before finding his game. An otherwise terrific year was interrupted when Kristo suffered frostbite in his foot. He returned to action after a period of uncertain recovery, to finish the season with eight goals and 20 assists in 34 games. What is most appealing about Kristo is his confidence and his combination of offensive creativity and defensive responsibility, all boosted by his skating ability. Kristo should play a huge part of the team's success this fall. He enters his junior season with the Fighting Sioux as the team's active leader in points.

4) Louis Leblanc, C

Drafted: 1(18), 2009

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 14, G: 4, A: 6, P: 10, PIM: 4, +/-: -7

The 2010-11 season was Leblanc's first QMJHL season, and his last. This year is his first AHL season, and perhaps his last. He's pretty used to being a rookie. It didn't take long for the former collegian to become an important part of the Montreal Juniors. He finished in the team's top three in scoring during the regular season with 26 goals and 32 assists. He also participated in the World Junior Championship, taking home a silver medal, and was a member of Team QMJHL in the 2010 Subway Super Series. If Leblanc returns to the QMJHL, it will be with the Shawinigan Cataractes, who acquired him in the offseason from the Juniors. Oh, and tonight (November 30th, 2011,) he will make his NHL debut in a game against the Anaheim Ducks.

5) Aaron Palushaj, RW

Acquired via trade with St.Louis Blues (Matt D'Agostini), 2010

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 7, G:1, A: 8, P: 9, PIM: 10, +/-: -3

No other Bulldogs forward made a more sustained impact last season than Palushaj. With injuries to the Montreal forward corps, Palushaj's playing time increased in his first full campaign with Hamilton. Palushaj finished the regular season with a total of 22 goals and 35 assists. He had 57 points in 68 games. Palushaj is a smart, responsible player who possesses a complete game. He has the requisite skill and hockey IQ to produce a standout year in the AHL this season. That is, if he fails to crack the Canadiens lineup full time. This season in the NHL, Palushaj has 0 points through 14 games, has 4 penalty minutes and is a -1.

6) Jarred Tinordi, D

Drafted: 1(22), 2010

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 16, G: 0, A: 6, P: 6, PIM: 38, +/-: +14

Already somewhat of a victim of his draft position and the expectations that come with it, Tinordi managed to finish his first OHL season on a higher note than he began. Tinordi is not a flashy player. Overpowering his opponents with his 6'7 200-plus pound frame suits him best. Tinordi played a stay-at-home style with the London Knights, and is a crucial penalty killer. He showed a propensity for rough play, leading the team with 140 penalty minutes during the season. He also had a goal and 13 assists. Tinordi's play got stronger as the year went along. He is back in London in 2011-12.

7) Brendon Nash, D

Acquired via free agency, 2010

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 0, G :0, A: 0, P: 0, PIM: 0, +/-: 0

A two-way defenseman, Nash's statistical contributions were great in Hamilton at the beginning of the year last year. His rate of production slowed considerably as the season progressed, but he was able to show flashes of his ability to excel with the man-advantage and seize offensive opportunity. As an undrafted free agent signing, Nash's influence has been a pleasant surprise, finishing the season with five goals and 25 assists, and a team-best plus-22 rating. Currently, Nash is on the shelf, suffering from a knee injury he suffered during a pre-season game against Buffalo. He had surgery last week and is expected to return close to play off time.

8) Ryan White, C

Drafted: 3(66), 2006

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 0, G: 0, A: 0, P: 0, PIM: 0, +/-: 0

White had a difficult start last season in Hamilton, but returned to form, notching three goals and nine assists along with 77 penalty minutes in 33 games. He finished the season with Montreal, appearing in 27 games, adding two goals and three assists. White was outshined by Lars Eller in training camp, falling agonizingly short of a berth with the Canadiens. Over the course of the season, however, he was given the chance to demonstrate he belonged, and is now that much closer to making the cut heading into this year's camp.This year, he missed all of training camp and has not played a game due to shoulder surgery.

9) Alexander Avistin, C

Drafted: 4(109), 2009

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 19 , G: 2, A: 7, P: 9, PIM: 12, +/-: -9

In making the move to leave his home country and play in North America, Avtsin has quickly faced his fair share of tumult, and he has withstood it well. He debuted with the Bulldogs as the team's youngest player last year, as a 19-year-old -- a rare occurrence. He dealt with nagging injuries and limited ice time, as he was transitioned slowly into a relatively unfamiliar, new style of hockey. He appeared in 58 games, scoring five goals and 15 assists, far cries from what he is capable of. As Avtsin learns his new surroundings, those totals are sure to increase. Avtsin has elite skills at his disposal. This year, he is one of the AHL's fastest skaters and is a lethal weapon on Hamilton's powerplay.

10) Mac Bennett, D

Drafted: 3(79), 2009

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 16, G: 3, A: 10, P: 13, PIM: 6 , +/-: 0

The smooth-skating Bennett encountered plenty of bumps in the road from the USHL to NCAA last year as a freshman. All in all, he made respectable progress in his first year of collegiate hockey with the University of Michigan. In 32 games, the 20-year-old scored two goals and 10 assists. A great skater with good hands and awareness, Bennett needs work on his decision-making. At times, he is perhaps too eager to contribute to the offense, and has been caught out of position. There is no question however, that Bennett has the tools to be a reliable two-way defenseman in the future.

Honorable Mention: Michael Bournival, C

Acquired via trade with Colorado Avalanche (Ryan O'Byrne), 2010

2011-2012 stats to date: GP: 12, G: 12, A: 6, P: 18, PIM: 4 , +/-: +4

Among all of the organization's QMJHL prospects, Bournival perhaps had the most noteworthy season. In addition to being named to the Team QMJHL roster for the 2010 Subway Super Series, with 28 goals and 36 assists, Bournival out-produced other Canadiens prospects playing in the league. Bournival is a tireless worker and intensely competitive. He is not big, but he is strong. He is one of the 3 Habs' prospects to receive an invite to Canada's World Junior Camp along with Beaulieu and Gallagher.

Well, there you have it. Expect to see these guys in the NHL very soon. We are a very fortunate organization to have these well rounded young men.

Until next time, Habby Hockey!


twitter: @allanrayer

email: gohabsgo26@hotmail.com

Edited by habsguy26
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