Playoffs have begun for most of the Habs' prospects, and the most enigmatic prospect of them all returns to his career.
|Sebastian Collberg||19||Elitserien||Frolunda||Regular Season||35||6||3||9|
|Allsvenskan||Orebro HK||Regular Season||15||6||2||8|
Collberg has seen his ice time rise in the playoffs, and he's paid dividends for Frolunda with two points in his last four games. What's more impressive about Collberg getting points right now is that the team Frolunda is facing, Luleå HF, is a very tight checking team that allows very little room to move. The young Swede is finding a way, and is poised for a breakout season next year.
|Magnus Nygren||22||Elitserien||Farjstads||Regular Season||51||13||19||32|
Not sitting back after winning the Borje Salming Trophy, Nygren continues to be an offensive force from the blueline in the Elitserien playoffs. At 22, it's expected that Nygren should be pretty dominant in Sweden if he's ever going to amount to anything, but the more points he puts up, and the more rave reviews I hear, the more I want to see him over in North American as soon as possible.
|Erik Nystrom||19||Allsvenskan||Kalskrona HK||Regular Season||23||5||6||11|
|Super Elit U20||Modo U20||Regular Season||22||8||16||24|
As mentioned last week, Nystrom's Allsvenskan team never made the playoffs, so he's playing in a qualification round. A point every two games is nothing to sneeze at for the 6th round pick, especially considering where he began the year. The question for Nystrom becomes whether he can make the jump to the Elitserien at some point next year. If he can, he becomes a legitimate prospect in the Canadiens' system.
|Daniel Pribyl||20||Czech Extraliga||Sparta Praha||Regular Season||42||12||10||22|
|Czech Extraliga||Sparta Praha||Playoffs total||6||0||0||0|
Pribyl's offense has once again dried up, just in time for the playoffs. It's been a breakout year of sorts for Pribyl, who stayed with the big club for once instead of being tossed back and forth constantly, but that level of consistency that you want to see in a prospect just hasn't been there.
Canadian Hockey League
|Brady Vail||19||OHL||Windsor||Regular Season||68||20||35||55|
The season ended without playoffs for the Windsor Spitfires, so Brady Vail gets a chance to earn some extra cred with the Canadiens organization by signing an amateur tryout contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. He played his first AHL game last night, a 1-0 win over the powerhouse Syracuse Crunch. Having turned 19 just 12 days ago, expecting Vail to have a big impact would be silly, but this experience could be valuable for him.
|Olivier Archambault||20||QMJHL||Drummondville||Regular Season||64||32||34||66|
Archambault netted an assist in his first playoff game of the year, but it wasn't enough for his team to grab a win. If Drummondville goes out quick in the Q playoffs, expect Archambault to also sign a tryout with the Bulldogs. Unlike Vail though, Archambault will be playing for a real contract, and it could have a big impact on whether he's a Canadiens prospect again next year.
|Charles Hudon||18||QMJHL||Chicoutimi||Regular Season||56||30||41||71|
Hudon's 2 assists helped Chicoutimi take the first game against the powerhouse Quebec Remparts, who were just boosted by the return of Mikhail Grigorenko. The two teams are rivals as well, so that series should be one to watch. Hudon won't be 19 until late June, which really puts this season in perspective. He's one heck of an impressive young prospect.
|Darren Dietz||19||WHL||Saskatoon||Regular Season||72||24||34||58|
Dietz's impressive season for the Blades continues into the playoffs, but the Memorial Cup hosting Blades are in serious trouble right off the bat. After ripping through the last half of the season, they're now down 2-0 in the first round to Medicine Hat.
|Dalton Thrower||19||WHL||Saskatoon||Regular Season||54||6||21||27|
I was hoping that Thrower could put his disappointing season behind him and have an impressive playoffs, but it's looking like more of the same for him with no points and a minus 3 rating in two games. There's still time though, and the Blades are guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup. A great Memorial Cup tournament could do a lot to reverse some of the souring on his prospects.
|Tim Bozon||18||WHL||Kamloops||Regular Season||69||36||55||91|
Bozon has been the most impressive offensive prospect in the CHL for the Canadiens, outside of Alex Galchenyuk of course. His Kamloops Blazers won their first game of the playoffs against the Royals. In order to go deep though, they'll need some contributions from Bozon.
|Mac Bennett||21||NCAA||Michigan||Regular Season||30||6||12||18|
Bennett had no games this week.
|Danny Kristo||22||NCAA||North Dakota||Regular Season||38||25||26||51|
Kristo's regular season has now been completed, and he's been named one of the 10 nominees for the Hobey Baker award. Kristo's main goal though, is to win the Frozen Four tournament. Luckily for the Canadiens, that tournament should be over before the end of the extended regular season, so Kristo could join the Canadiens for the stretch drive and into the playoffs. The 22 year old speedster would add some scoring depth to the roster in case of injuries.
|Mark MacMillan||21||NCAA||North Dakota||Regular Season||40||13||12||25|
After an extremely promising start, MacMillan was only able to put up half the production of his teammate and sometimes linemate Danny Kristo. Frustratingly, his poor second half brought him down so far that he only improved on his freshman season by 2 points, although he scored 6 more goals. Trevor Timmins is very high on MacMillan, but at 21 already, he's going to need to prove a lot more to be considered a real prospect. There are some who doubt Kristo as a prospect, and he had 45 points as a 21 year old.
|Sprague Ribinsoin||27||Liga Supa||Glöorpf HK||Regular Season||37||237||0||237|
|Liga Supa||Glöorpf HK||Playoffs total||2||44||0||44|
In light of a successful court challenge that erased an assist awarded to him in a game against the Västervik Verklempt in early February, one that saw him abruptly and angrily retire from pro hockey, Sprague enthusiastically returned to Glöorpf this week just in time for the playoffs, compiling a respectable 44 goals over the course of two games and bringing his season total to 281 goals in 39 games. Sprague's short-lived retirement, during which he employed his background in quantum physics to become an adept beet farmer, sprang from a deep-set grudge held against his father Larry Ribinsoin, who amassed 0 goals and 1,433 assists during his 1966-68 tenure with, coincidentally, the Verklempt. (It is no small secret that Larry has for years lorded his Liga Süpa assisting prowess over Sprague and that the kid has, as a result, made a point of never passing during a game, vowing to "never be anything like my douchefuck father".) Key to the court victory was an errant piece of toilet paper stuck to the skate of one of Sprague's teammates, likely inadvertently picked up during the previous intermission, which was, through extensive video analysis, deemed to have made contact with the puck prior to the goal, thus relegating Sprague to the third assist. In commenting on Sprague's return, Glöorpf head coach, Skaär van der Gaärnaärdaärhaärlaärnaärjaärensensensensensensensen, who played against Ribinsoin, Sr. in the 60s, while being forced to wear an absurdly oversized jersey, noted, "Make no mistake, Switzerland's beet industry's loss is our gain. Since Sprague's departure in early February, we haven't scored a single goal, including 11 empty-netters which were disallowed due to goalie interference. It's all very confusing. We're happy to have him back, his nipple-centric skating style, notwithstanding. Think he picked up that unfortunate habit from his douchefuck father."