2014 Mid-term Habs Top 25 Under 25: The graduate and the departed

Doug Pensinger

Because this is a mid-term ranking, we only have a single graduate and a single prospect who was let go since the summer, but let's review their careers anyway.

The Departed

There's nothing really to note here, or at least not much of interest due to the relative inactivity of Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and only 6 months passing since the previous rankings. Shortly after the full summer edition of the Habs Top 25 Under 25, the Habs elected to part ways with oft-injured 6th round draft pick in 2009, Dustin Walsh. Walsh graduated from Dartmouth College, so the Canadiens had until mid-August to make a decision on whether he was worth an entry level contract, at which time they decided not to offer one.

Walsh finished his NCAA career with 32 goals and 62 points in 93 games, an even rating, and 34 PIM, and doesn't seem to be playing hockey this year. Walsh was on our radar for the last three years, ranking 34th in 2011, 33rd in 2012, and 42nd in 2013.

The Graduate

Pacioretty_medium

Yearly Ranks
2010 2011 2012 2013
7 3 2 3

Peaking at number 2 in the rankings in 2012. Max Pacioretty took a slowish development path to becoming one of the NHL's most dominant even strength forwards. Over the previous two years, of players who played 1000 or more minutes at even strength, Pacioretty ranked 8th in the NHL in points per 60 minutes.

By those same standards, Pacioretty ranked 4th in the NHL in goals per 60 minutes, behind only Stamkos, Toews, and Malkin. He ranked 2nd overall in shots per 60 minutes, and 3rd overall in shot attempts per 60 minutes.

Yet there are still some who don't appreciate Max Pacioretty among fans and media, those who want to pigeonhole him into being Tomas Holmstrom, sitting in front of the net and deflecting pucks simply because he's a large player, ignoring the fact that Pacioretty's greatest asset is his elite release.

It's hard to believe that at one point in time Pacioretty wasn't thought to be a potential top six forward, and now he exits the Top 25 Under 25 as the top voted forward of all time, though he is assuredly going to be passed in that regard by Alex Galchenyuk.

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