Habs Development Camp
Players to Watch
The Montreal Canadiens will be hosting their annual development camp from July 3 to July 7 at their luxurious suburban practice complex. A full schedule and list of attendees is available on the team’s official website.
This article might be more appropriately named “Habs Development Camp – Players You Will Notice”, as the participants focused on will be hard to miss.
Going through the list alphabetically, Charles Hudon (2012/5th/122) is the first name to jump off the page. He might be the biggest star at camp. Michael McCarron (2013/1/25) also has name value; and while he will have his moments, he likely won’t light the world on fire in this type of camp environment. A pleasant surprise on the camp development lists is Martin Reway (2014/4/116), a 2013 draftee, who did not attend last year. After signing a contract with the Habs this spring, this should be a good step for him.
Martin Reway Should Excel
Reway should light this camp up like an overage Little League pitcher tossing 70 mph fastballs against pre-pubescent hopefuls.
He has so many more miles on him than the rest of the competition; literally and figuratively. The offensive dynamo (not said lightly) has skated in multiple leagues at different levels, and participated in games, playoffs and tournaments all around the world since being drafted. Often, dominating them.
He will put on a show for the always packed Canadiens Brossard practice facility with his flashy set of mitts and highlight reel playmaking ability. His accurate shot will also be lethal compared to his peers and a problem for everybody not named Charlie Lindgren (2016/FA).
The potential backup to Carey Price will rival Reway as the best player on the ice. His game is arguably already at NHL level (career 1-0). He is older (22) than most of the competition having already completed his college career.
The Next Four
Hudon, McCarron, Nikita Scherbak (2014) and the newly drafted Mikhail Sergachev (9th) complete the next group of players who’ll shine. Scherbak needs to have a good camp to display growth from a disappointing rookie season in the AHL, while Sergachev debuts in the star category. Measuring in at over 6’2 and 220 lbs, the OHL’s youngest defenseman of the year winner as all the makings of a stud D-man and should be the top defender on the ice. He will definitely bring the intensity to impress his new club, especially in the scrimmages.
2015 Pick Juulsen to Take Another Step
Last year’s first round defender Noah Juulsen (26th) headlines the third tier talent. Montreal’s own Simon Bourque (2015/6/177) joins him on the blueline, while Lukas Vejdemo (2015/3/87), Daniel Audette (2014/5/147) and 2016 third rounder (70th) Will Bitten slide in at forward. The 6’2 Vedejmo was no slouch playing against men in the SweHL this past season, while Audette and Bitten are undersized CHL scoring stars.
I’ve elected to add a special fourth group to the mix that coincidentally happens to be D-man exclusive. As the aforementioned groups contain the better-known products, the trio of Arvid Henrikson (2016/7/187), Thomas Parisi (2016/FA), and Victor Mete (2016/4/100) will be attending their inaugural Canadiens development camp.
First time campers are often a tad timid, but they were all brought in for a reason and deserve to be kept an eye on.
Follow me on Twitter @MikeBarrett_ for live Habs development camp updates, photos and videos Monday through Wednesday (July 4-5-6).
Main Photo via Getty Images Sport