Sixteen St. John's IceCaps players hit the ice with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2015-16 season, thanks to the diabolical injury bug that took out half the team before the season was over.
Throughout the season we saw: Brendan Gallagher, Torrey Mitchell, Paul Byron, Devante Smith-Pelly, Dale Weise, Brian Flynn, Alexander Semin, David Desharnais and others go down.
To help fill the gaps, eight forwards from the IceCaps were given the opportunity to make their mark in the big league. Did they live up to expectations? Where will they fall next season - with the Canadiens or the IceCaps or will they be gone from the organization for good?
First game: November 22
Games played: 44
Points: 17 (7 G, 10 A)
Habs: Andrighetto made his NHL debut playing 12 games with the Canadiens during the 2014-15 season. This time, when he got the call he was ready for it.
"I'm not nervous to be here this time. I'm really excited right now, I'm enjoying the moment. Everything was new last year for me, now I know how it goes."
Of all the forwards that were recalled, Andrighetto spent the most time up with the Habs, resulting in half the season spent in the NHL. The downside of being a part of the 2015-16 lineup was that he wasn't safe from the injury bug and missed three games due to an upper-body injury.
IceCaps: Andrighetto ended up spending more time in the NHL than he did with the AHL this season, but in the 26 games he did play with the IceCaps he was near a point-per-game tally with 23 points (10 G, 13 A).
Future: Andrighetto's three-year contract expires this summer, making him a RFA. He's proven he's a big asset to the Canadiens organization on both AHL and NHL levels and they should definitely make room for him on the IceCaps roster - if not the Canadiens. The Habs are short on wingers, and that bodes well for the skilled forward.
First game: November 27
Games played: 1
Habs: Holloway's dream of playing in the NHL finally became reality when at the age of 28 he made his long-awaited debut.
A skilled player in both the SHL and AHL, it was huge for him to see him finally get that call. Unfortunately for Bud, his time in the spotlight only lasted a little over seven minutes.
IceCaps: However, the spotlight didn't stop shining on him during his time with the IceCaps. In 70 games, Holloway led the team in scoring with a franchise record of 61 points (19 G, 42 A).
The future: Holloway was signed to a one-year, two-way deal with the Canadiens in January 2015 and became a RFA once the season was over. He's already said goodbye to the Canadiens organization, signing a two-year contract with CSKA Moskva of the KHL. We'll never know what Holloway could have done with the Canadiens if he was presented with a legitimate opportunity.
First game: November 28
Games played: 5
Points: 2 (2 A)
Habs: This wasn't Thomas' first rodeo with the Canadiens. He made his first appearance in the 2013-14 season playing two games. The following year, he hit the ice for 18 games with just one point (1 G) to show for it. Thomas had a decent experience this season with two points in five games, but it just wasn't enough to keep him around.
IceCaps: Thomas seems to be better suited for the AHL for now since he had a much better record, racking up 14 points (7 G, 7 A) in 18 games with the IceCaps.
Future: On December 15, Thomas was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for another winger, Lucas Lessio. He played just one game with the Coyotes, finishing the season with their AHL affliate.
First game: December 5th
Games played: 23
Points: 9 (6 G, 3 A)
Habs: Carr's debut in the NHL was one for the record books. His first game was against the Carolina Hurricanes where during his first game, on his first shift, on his first shot, he earned his first point scoring his first goal.
But he wasn't immune to the relentless Habs injury bug, suffering a knee injury on January 26. He made it back for the final four games of the season but was out for three months, missing 29 games.
IceCaps: Playing in 24 games this season, Carr, like Andrighetto, had almost a point-per-game record ending the season with 21 points (10 G, 11 A).
Future: Carr will become a RFA this summer but will hopefully be a priority for the Canadiens organization. He may not have a roster spot just yet, but they should hold one for him as he's one to watch.
First game: December 10
Games played: 3
Points: 2 (2 A)
Habs: Although he didn't get many games under his belt, Hudon managed to tally two points in three games, registering his first NHL point during his debut against the Detroit Red Wings.
IceCaps: In 67 games, Hudon ranked second in points with 53 (28 G, 25 A) but first overall in goals. He was the IceCaps top goal-scorer, blowing his teammates out of the water with Holloway and Gabriel Dumont coming in second with 19 goals each.
Future: Hudon's contract will be up after this coming season. If his performance with the IceCaps is any indication, the Canadiens should keep a tight grip on him and give him another chance to play with the big dogs.
First game: February 2
Games played: 12
Points: 2 (1 G, 1 A)
Habs: Lessio became a victim of the injury bug not once, but twice. Once in February and then again in March, causing him to miss a total of 13 games with a lower-body injury.
About halfway through Lessio's time with the Canadiens, he was doing a decent job in keeping the puck away from his netminders, but it was hard not to root for him to get himself a goal. It was obvious he was giving it his all, and had some close calls. When he finally found the back of the net, it was to break a 3-3 tie against the Anaheim Ducks on March 22.
His reaction was one of the best of the 2015-16 season. The Habs were to the point where they barely acknowledged their goals, but that wasn't going to stop Lessio from celebrating.
IceCaps: Lessio's confidence started to show as the season went on where he tallied nine points (3 G, 6 A) in 18 games.
Future: Should the Canadiens decide to re-sign him when he becomes a RFA this summer, he'll most likely stay with the IceCaps unless really impressing during training camp.
First game: December 19th
Games played: 20
Points: 2 (1 G, 1A)
Habs: It's always been touted that the Canadiens need a big center. Well, they got one for a short period this season. Two big concerns with having McCarron up with the big club so soon are: he's not ready and don't let him fall into an enforcer roll just because of his size.
IceCaps: McCarron was one of the top players for the IceCaps, racking up 38 points (17 G, 21 A) in 58 games. He also had the honor of being named to the AHL All-Star game and earned the Top Rookie Award.
Future: We watched McCarron improve with both the IceCaps and Canadiens this season. To ensure he gets the development and support he needs, it's important that he spends the majority of his time next season with the IceCaps so he'll be more than ready when the phone rings again.
Jacob de la Rose
First game: January 16
Games played: 22
Points: 1 (1 A)
Habs: De la Rose cracked the Canadiens lineup during the 2014-15 season, suiting up for 33 games and grabbing six points (4 G, 2 A) in the process. This season, however, de la Rose didn't add much to the score sheet but most likely it won't be his last opportunity to do so.
IceCaps: Sidelined with an injury for most of November, the alternate captain managed to come back and pull his weight during his 34 games with 14 points (7 G, 7 A).
Future: Next season will be the final year of his three-year contract. De la Rose seems to be a go-to call-up for the Canadiens so it's safe to assume he'll start the season with the IceCaps and make an appearance with the Habs again during the season.
First game: April 5
Games played: 1
Habs: If you've never heard of, or paid attention to, John Scott before, for sure that all changed this season. From the strange bundle trade he was a part of, to the NHL All-Star controversy to becoming a household name, Scott became an NHL player you couldn't help but root for. Yes, he was called up for one of the final games of the season due to the never-ending injuries but in reality, it really just seemed like a classy cherry on top to wrap up his season with the Canadiens organization.
IceCaps: In 27 games played, Scott had four points (2G, 2 A). While not amazing stats, Scott made himself at home with the IceCaps embracing the team, the city and the fans, all with his infectious smile.
Future: Who knows where John Scott will be come the fall. IceCaps fans would love to see him back in their city but with the whirlwind season he's had and the book and movie deals being thrown at him, it wouldn't be surprising if he's ready to hang up his skates and become a full-time family man.