Welcome to the first edition of “Notes” on Montreal Canadiens prospects in their respective leagues. NCAA and Europe editions will also be released very soon. Below are general notes and total statistics at roughly the halfway point of the season.
C Cam Hillis: Hillis’ skating wasn’t spectacular last year and after hiring a private skating coach still not much has improved as of yet… Hillis has brought his signature solid two-way game with a tenacious aggressive forecheck and a great hockey IQ. He’s driving the net and hanging around the high slot for redirects and tips which has been a contributing factor in his point totals.
C/LW Allan McShane: McShane has a wicked release especially from the one knee down a la Cammalleri style to go along with his creative stick handling. He’s improved on his one-on-one battles and stick checking. McShane has displayed some clever ability to find his teammates with his above-average vision and playmaking.
C Nick Suzuki: Suzuki has been purely dominating all over the ice whether making incredible plays in the offensive zone or using his hockey sense and anticipation in the defensive zone. Suzuki’s smarts are off the charts and he’s been just as good defensively as he’s been on the offensive.
C Samuel Houde: Houde had a hot start to the year showing flashes of high-end offense and a quick accurate release. He’s not afraid to go through defenders using his edges and puck handling skills. He’s agile and quick as he shifts around but has been very inconsistent offensively. His defensive game has improved slightly as but needs to be more aware of his surroundings.
LW Joël Teasdale: Teasdale is a complimentary player on any roster that brings a net-front presence and solid defensive game. He’s been good in tight around the net finishing off plays and uses his lower body strength effectively to drive the net and create offense. He brings it every night shift in and shift out with his aggressive forechecking and excellent active stick.
D Josh Brook: Brook has been an absolute stalwart for the Warriors defense this season. Now healthy and playing consistent Brook has brought his offensive game to another level and has been one of the best from the backend in the WHL. His ability to get the puck through from the point and on net or on the tape has been a factor for his 1.50 points per game average. He still looks out of position defensively at times as he tends to get caught puck watching and loses his position.
LW/C Cole Fonstad: Fonstad is a silky player… he’s got silky mitts and can be quite evasive in getting around despite his lack of acceleration and agility. He’s got great vision and excellent playmaking abilities but also isn’t afraid to engage in and around the crease.
D Jarret Tyszka: Tyszka missed a chunk of the season with a concussion which can also affect your play when you are considered “healthy”, not for Tyszka who engaged in a fight in his first game back showing some toughness in defense of his teammate. Tyszka has been very effective in his return making great quick short breakout passes in the defensive zone. He’s also managing the point on an umbrella powerplay setup dishing the puck around and getting his shots through to the net.
D Scott Walford: Walford like Brook has been healthy which has greatly benefited his play on the ice. He’s been consistent from the start with his simple yet effective breakouts. He’s also gained the confidence to use his acceleration and straight-line speed to evade pressure and jump up in the play to create odd-man rushes. He’s also shown some decent playmaking ability and good vision to find his teammates for stretch passes.