The Montreal Canadiens rookie camp begins September 15th, and the club recently released the roster. The prospects will only be at the practice facility for a day though, before heading to London, Ontario for a rookie tournament that will feature teams from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs organizations.
Montreal Canadiens Rookie Camp Preview
The tournament runs from September 18-21. After their stay in London, the Canadiens head back to Brossard for a few more days of training before the real camp opens.
Looking at the roster the most obvious thing is the absence of Charles Hudon. Mike McCarron and Nikita Scherbak are there, but not Hudon. A very strong indication of what management thinks of the Alma, Quebec native. Hudon could be fighting for a roster spot come pre-season.
Artturi Lehkonen will be making his long awaited debut when he flies in to compete at the Montreal Canadiens rookie camp. Upon skating in a late August Champions League game, Frolunda‘s head coach had this to say about the Habs prospect.
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) August 27, 2016
The former second-round pick has his eyes on the second-line left-wing spot next to Tomas Plekanec and either Alex Radulov or Brendan Gallagher. He’ll have to shine bright at the showcase, and fight off the likes of Hudon, Scherbak and NHL seasoned prospects Daniel Carr and Sven Andrighetto in training camp.
McCarron will look to show his scoring touch while competing against his peers. He always has to fill a role with the Habs, so allowing him a little more freedom could be refreshing for the big pivot.
Scherbak perhaps has the most pressure on him. Not for the fact that he has expectations to contribute in the NHL this season, but that the organization needs to see a little something in his game that gives them confidence down the road.
Will Bitten should have some highlight reel moments with his speed and hands to match. The recent third-round pick is the type of player that leads by example with his work ethic and fearless approach.
Jeremiah Addison is someone to keep your eyes on. The recent Windsor Spitfires acquisition had himself a nice development camp, exhibiting that his speed and abrasive style can be effective. It looks like he will have a chance to skate with top playmaking prospect Logan Brown in Windsor, so expect Addison to focus on his offensive game in this tournament.
He may be listed as a defenceman, but Mikhail Sergachev is just a hockey player. A very good one at that. The man-child makes plays all over the ice, possessing the skill and strength to impose his will on opponents. Aside from Lehkonen, due to his professional league experience, Sergachev is the best player in camp, and maybe in the entire tournament.
Expect the starting lines to look something like this. Of course this tournament is for the purpose of evaluation so the Habs will see many different combinations. This is based on talent level, and style of play. Consider it a lineup, depth-chart hybrid.
Lehkonen – McCarron – Scherbak
Addison- Daniel Audette – Bitten
Petrus Palmu– Jeremy Gregoire – Matthew Bradley
Michael Pezzetta – Hayden McCool – Giovanni Fiore
Rotate In: Scott Eansor, Markus Eisenschmid
Sergachev – Noah Juulsen
Simon Bourque – Brett Lernout
Victor Mete – Arvid Henrikson
Rotate In: Tom Parisi, Michael Zipp
Zach Fucale, Charlie Lindgren, and Michael McNiven will all get time in the crease.
With the NHL’s biggest stars at the World Cup of Hockey, the prospects will have a chance to hit the ground running when training camp rolls around. The Montreal Canadiens rookie camp is the first step of the process, so expect the best from these talented competitors.