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Catching the Torch: Magnificent Mark MacMillan

Your weekly report on the Canadiens Junior and European Prospects

Scott A. Schneider

Player of the Week: Mark MacMillan

Top honours go to a normally less heralded name. After going without a point in his first two games of the season, MacMillan had an offensive explosion this past weekend for the University of North Dakota in a weekend series against Colorado College. In his first game he would notch a pair of goals in a 3-1 victory over Colorado, but this was just a mere preview for his next game.

In a 7-2 rout of Colorado, MacMillan would mark his first career hat trick in NCAA hockey and add two assists as well, making him the first North Dakota skater in six years to have a 5 point game. He currently leads North Dakota in scoring and despite going pointless in his first two games, is now tied for 3rd in the NCAA in scoring and is 2nd in goals. Don't forget to check out MacMillan's first two goals of the season.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
2 5 2 7 0

The Juniors Report:

The Canadiens currently feature 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 College Athletic Association). These leagues can be considered the primary conduit towards professional hockey in North America.

Here's how the players playing in the aforementioned leagues performed last week

Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 3 3 2 5 2
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 3 1 1 2 8
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 0 0 0 0 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 3 0 2 2 9
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 2 0 1 1 2
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 2 0 0 0 17
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 2 0 0 0 2
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 2 1 0 1 4
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 1 5 2 7 0
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 2 1 1 0 2.31 .925 0
Hayden Hawkey USHL 2 0 2 0 4.90 .862 0

Daniel Audette: Audette's point streak with Sherbrooke Phoenix seems to show no signs of abating with his latest exploits. He would mark his 2nd career hat trick, which also happens to be his 2nd hat trick in his last four games in a 7-1 rout of the Shawinigan Cataractes where he put up all three goals on the power play along with an assist for his first four-point game of the season. See Audette's hat trick here.

While he would quiet in his next game, collecting an assist in 3-2 shootout victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs, he would improve his points streak to 8 goals and 6 assists over 8 games. Audette's run would end there however, as he would go without a point in his final game of the week, a 2-0 victory for Sherbrooke over Drummondville. Audette is currently 18th overall in league scoring in the QMJHL, 3rd on his team.

Daniel Audette. Photo credit: Francois Laplante

Jeremy Gregoire: Injuries continue to be a tough story for Gregoire, issues with his hand injury have led to requiring surgery and he is now projected to miss up to 8 more weeks of the season. This likely eliminates his chances to be placed on Team Canada for the upcoming 2015 World Junior Championship.

Michael McCarron: After time off recovering from a shoulder injury sustained during the Montreal Canadiens preseason schedule, McCarron is back in action for the London Knights. He would score a goal in his first game back in an eventual 4-3 shootout win over the Erie Otters. His goal and a hit delivered in the game can be seen here. He would mark an assist in his 2nd game, a 3-2 victory over Owen Sound along with another notable hit which can be seen here. He would go without a point in his final game, a 6-2 loss to the Erie Otters.

Tim Bozon: After being assigned to the Kootenay Ice to continue his road back after battling life-threatening meningitis last season, Bozon has yet to play a game after being held out due to a lower body injury that has been termed day to day.

Brett Lernout: After going 6 games without a point with the Swift Current Broncos, Lernout would pick up an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Saskatoon Blades. He would pick up an assist in his next game as well, which became a rather lopsided 8-3 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Lernout would go pointless in his final game of the week, a 4-3 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors. Lernout continues to lead all defencemen in Swift Current in scoring with 2 goals and 4 assists over 14 games.

Nikolas Koberstein: With no points now in his first 8 games in the USHL season and collecting another 17 penalty minutes this past week, Koberstein has the dubious honour of leading his team in penalty minutes by a significant margin with 38 total over 8 games. His season is trending towards being simply described as disastrous.

Nikita Scherbak: After an explosive start that saw him record 8 points in his first four games, Scherbak cooled a bit this week as he would pick up an assist in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Tri-City Americans but would go without a point in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Spokane Chiefs. He currently stands 4th in scoring on his team, with all three ahead of him having each played 3 more games.

Josiah Didier: The new captain of the University of Denver Pioneers, Josiah Didier is off to a quiet start on the scoresheet, collecting only a minor penalty and no points in his first two games of the season, a pair of wins of 3-0 and 4-1 over Rensseelear Polytechnic Institute.

Jake Evans: While he would miss the scoresheet in a 5-3 win over Lake Superior State University in his first game of the week, Evans would mark his first career NCAA goal and point in a 5-1 win over Lake Superior in the following game. See Evans's his first career goal.

Zachary Fucale: After having some difficulty to start the season, Fucale seems to be adjusting of late to his new workload, he would makee 29 stops on 31 shots to post a .935 save percentage in his first game of the week, a 5-2 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Fucale would not be as tight in his next start, a rematch against Cape Breton as he allowed 3 goals on 36 shots in an eventual 4-1 loss, with an empty net goal being scored by Cape Breton. This loss did mark his fifth straight start posting a minimum of a .917 save percentage. Fucale's run of consistent starts in his last five games has raised him to a season average of a .900 overall save percentage, good enough for 10th overall in the QMJHL.

Hayden Hawkey: The struggles for Hayden Hawkey continue to mount this season. His first start saw him giving up up 5 goals on 24 shots to the Des Moines Buccanners that led to him being pulled for the second time in 4 games. Hawkey would tighten up a little to allow 3 goals on 34 shots in his second start of the week, but it was not enough as his team fell 4-2 to the Sioux City Musketeers. Hawkey owns a highly disturbing 0.857 save percentage through 7 games this season.

The European report:

The SHL is the top professional men's league in Sweden and is at a comparable level to the AHL. Strong play here can often give indications that the player is moving towards being capable of playing in the NHL.

The Extraliga is the top professional men's league in the Czech Republic, while it is not at the level of the SHL, it is still a competitive pro league where solid production would give credence to a player's NHL potential.

Here's how the European prospects performed last week:

Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 2 0 1 1 0
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 2 0 0 0 0
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 0 0 0 0 0

Artturi Lehkonen: While he did not dominate this past week for Frölunda HC, Lehkonen contines to add to his scoring column in the SHL. After going without a point in a 2-1 victory over Leksands IF. He would pick up an assist in a 2-1 win over Luleå HF. Lehkonen continues to be tied for the scoring lead among players 20 or younger in the SHL and is tied for 2nd overall for scoring on Frölunda.

Joonas Nattinen: Finding the scoresheet with MODO Hockey has become no simpler for Nättinen as the season goes on. He would go without a point in a 2-1 win over Linköping HC become and would fail to find the scoresheet in a 3-1 loss to Brynäs IF. has Through 12 games, he has three assists but no goals while averaging close to 15 minutes of ice time per game.

Martin Reway: Reway has been scratched over his last four games due to an undisclosed illness.

Year to date statistics:

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 11 8 8 16 12
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 3 1 1 2 8
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 0 0 0 0 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 14 2 4 6 24
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 6 4 5 9 6
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 8 0 0 0 38
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 2 0 0 0 2
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 4 1 0 1 4
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 4 5 2 7 0
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 12 4 4 8 2
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 12 0 3 3 8
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 8 0 7 7 6
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 7 3 4 1 3.46 .900 0
Hayden Hawkey USHL 7 1 5 1 4.30 .857 0