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Catching the Torch: Daniel Audette is off to a hot start in the QMJHL playoffs

Updating you on the progress of the Canadiens junior prospects.

Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images

The Juniors Report

The Montreal Canadiens organization currently features prospects playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL), the USHL (United States Hockey League), and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). These leagues can be considered the primary conduit towards professional hockey in North America.

Here's how the players in the aforementioned leagues performed from March 14-20:

Weekly stats
Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 2 1 2 3 2
Jeremiah Addison (RW) OHL 1 1 2 3 6
Simon Bourque (D) QMJHL 2 0 2 2 0
Matt Bradley (C) WHL 0 0 0 0 0
Noah Juulsen (D) WHL 2 0 0 0
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 1 0 0 0 0
Nikolas Koberstein (D) NCAA 0
0 0 0 0
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save % SO
Hayden Hawkey NCAA 0 0 0 0 - -
Michael McNiven OHL 2 1 1 0 1.52 .927 1

Jeremiah Addison: It was something of an unfortunate start of the playoffs for the Ottawa 67's forward. First, he recorded a goal and two assists in his first game of the OHL Playoffs, which ended in a 5-4 loss against the Niagara IceDogs. An injury suffered during the game by Addison forced him out of action for the next contest, which saw them suffer a 5-3 defeat.

Ottawa has an 0-2 series deficit against Niagara in Round one of the OHL Playoffs.

Daniel Audette: Audette seems set to push aside his disappointing regular season with Sherbrooke Phoenix in favour of a strong playoff performance. He scored a goal and assist in his first game, a 3-2 over the Shawinigan Cataractes. He collected an assist in the following game, a 3-2 loss in game two.

Sherbrooke is tied 1-1 with Shawinigan in Round one of the QMJHL Playoffs.

Simon Bourque: The captain of Rimouski Oceanic has been quick to show that he is not merely a regular-season performer in the QMJHL playoffs. He marked an assist in his first game, a 2-1 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders. He collected an assist in his next game as well, a 5-4 overtime loss to Charlottetown. 

RImouski is tied 1-1 with Charlottetown in Round one of the QMJHL Playoffs.

Matt Bradley: His season came to a rather unfortunate end. While sitting out his second straight game due to a shoulder injury, The Medicine Hat Tigers were eliminated from playoff contention after losing a single-elimination tiebreaker game for the final playoff spot in the WHL's Eastern Conference.

Bradley made gains on his previous season's work, with 23 goals and 28 assists for a growth to a .75 points per game average versus the previous season average of .56. An expectation of a point-per-game pace in the junior ranks to show NHL viability means Bradley has much more work to do.

Noah Juulsen: While his offensive numbers have been low-key, Juulsen's solid play with the Everett Silvertips has been recognized as he begins his playoff drive. He was named to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team this past week.

Juulsen went without a point in his first two games of the WHL Playoffs, where Everett earned 3-0 and 3-1 victories in the first two games of the series, granting them a 2-0 lead.

Jake Evans: It was a quiet end to Jake Evan's breakout campaign with the University of Notre Dame. They fell 3-2 in overtime to the University of Michigan in the NCAA Midwest Regional at the start of the NCAA National Tournament, and Evans went pointless in the loss.

Evans finishes his sophomore season with 33 points in 37 games, and led his team in assists with 25. He nearly doubled his point production from the previous season, where he scored just 17 points in 41 games. The only point of concern for Evans' college career so far has been the lack of growth in his goal scoring, scoring only eight goals this season, and just seven the year before.

Nikolas Koberstein: The rookie season of Koberstein with the University of Alaska Fairbanks is over, and it was a forgettable campaign. He scored one goal and one assist in 23 games this season, and was scratched 12 times. Barring sudden great leaps in his progress, his likelihood to forge a pro hockey career is extremely low.

Hayden Hawkey: Hawkey's all too brief rookie season in the NCAA has come to a close. Providence College was defeated in the first round of the NCAA National Tournament this past weekend in a 2-1 double overtime loss to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He did not start in the game, and will have to wait to next year to see more playing time.

He only started two games in the 2015-16 NCAA season, and had spot time in three other games, ending with a 2-0-0 record, a 1.67 goals against average and a .940 save percentage. It will remain a challenge to edge the team's senior goaltender Nick Ellis however in 2016-17, as he finished the season with a .936 save percentage.

Michael McNiven: It was an interesting start for the Owen Sound Attack and their starting netminder in the opening round of the OHL playoffs. It could easily be seen as a lopsided engagement, as their opponents in the London Knights had won 19 more games than them this season.

The first game of the series did not end with any great surprise, as McNiven allowed 3 goals on 18 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Knights. The second game was the surprise for London, as Owen Sound surprised their opponents, shutting them out in a 1-0 victory with McNiven making 23 saves.

Owen Sound is tied 1-1 with London in Round 1 of the OHL playoffs.

Season Stats to Date:

Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 52 22 37 59 53
Simon Bourque (D) QMJHL 66 12 34 46 50
Jeremiah Addison (RW) OHL 65 27 29 56 72
Matt Bradley (C) WHL 68 23 28 51 35
Noah Juulsen (D) WHL 63 7 21 28 37
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 36 8 25 33 29
Nikolas Koberstein (D) NCAA 23 1 1 2 8
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save % SO
Hayden Hawkey NCAA 4 2 0 0 1.98 .932 1
Michael McNiven OHL 53 21 18 10 2.94 .902 3