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Catching the Torch: Nikita Scherbak 5th in WHL points per games played

A weekly statistical review of the Canadiens Junior and European prospects.

Jeff Vinnick

Player of the Week: Nikita Scherbak

There does not seem to be any sign of Nikita Scherbak slowing down his pace with the Everett Silvertips this season. He scored his first career hat trick in his first game of the week, a 6-3 win over the Red Deer Rebels. He marked an assist in the next game, a 5-1 win over the Vancouver Giants. He finished the week scoring a goal and assist in a 6-4 loss to the Spokane Chiefs. Scherbak now stands at 12th overall in overall WHL scoring with 11 goals and 12 assists over 14 games, with all players ahead of him having played at least 3 more games. He also leads Everett in points while maintaining a 1.64 points per game average, which places him for a season of at least 100 points if he plays at least 61 games this season.

Scherbak is set to represent Team Russia versus Team WHL in the CHL-Russia Subway Super Series set to begin on November 10th. A notable performance here could enhance his chances to make Team Russia for the World Junior Championships.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
3 4 2 6 4

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 2 0 1 1 2
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 3 5 0 5 15
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 2 1 1 2 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 2 0 1 1 0
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 2 4 2 6 4
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 2 0 0 0 0
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 2 0 0 0 0
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 2 0 2 0 4.54 .861 0
Hayden Hawkey USHL 1 1 0 0 0.92 .960 0

Daniel Audette: Audette's production has come to a crawl of late with Sherbrooke Phoenix. He went without a point in his first game of the week, a 4-0 shutout loss to the Victoriaville Tigres. He recorded an assist in his next game, a 7-5 victory over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. See Audette's assist in the game. Despite Audette's slowed production, he still stands ninth overall in QMJHL scoring with 12 goals and 17 assists in 19 games and is notably outpacing his previous season, at a rate of 1.53PPG versus 1.12 in 2013-14.

Jeremy Gregoire: Gregoire continues to sit on the injured reserve list due to wrist surgery dating back to late October, he is not projected to play again until likely the middle of December.

Michael McCarron. Photo credit: Claus Anderson

Michael McCarron : McCarron continues to impress this season, and be a key cog in the offensive machine of the London Knights. He recorded his first two-goal game of the season to start the week, in a game of utter domination that saw London defeat the Guelph Storm 11-1. See McCarron's two goals, including one that ripped right through the Guelph net. He scored another goal in his next game, a 5-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires. See McCarron's goal versus Windsor. He scored two more goals in a 9-4 loss to the Guelph Storm in his final game of the week. See McCarron's two goals versus Guelph. McCarron's 5 goals raised him to 8 goals, 21 points on his season over 12 games, a benchmark he needed 45 games to reach last season. He very well could have been the player of the week, but we'll settle for giving him a honourable mentions.

Tim Bozon: After working off a lingering lower-body injury, Tim Bozon returned to action for the Kootenay Ice this past week and immediately made his prescense known. He scored a goal and assist in his first game of the week, to help gain a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. See Bozon's first goal of the season. He would score his second goal in as many games the following night, in an eventual 3-2 shootout win over the Swift Current Broncos.

Brett Lernout: Lernout has gone into another slump with the Swift Current Broncos of late. He went without a point in his first game of the week, a 2-1 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. His assist in the next game would prove to be very timely, as he helped set up the overtime winner for a 4-3 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He would miss the scoresheet in his final game, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Kootenay Ice. Lernout continues to lead all defencemen with Swift Current in scoring with 3 goals and 8 assists in 22 games.

Nikolas Koberstein: There continues to be no significant stories to Koberstein's season, he has now gone 14 games without a point with the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Josiah Didier: Didier does not seem to be showing any signs of increased offensive production as a senior with the University of Denver. He went without a point in two games against the University of Western Michigan, a 5-4 win in the first game and a 6-3 loss in the second match. With 1 assist in 10 games this season, he is currently pacing behind last season's production of 9 points in 36 games.

Jake Evans: Evans slowed in production this past week with the University of Notre Dame. He went without a point in a 5-0 shutout loss to the University of Minnesota and missed the scoresheet in a 4-2 loss to Minnesota in the following game.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan continues to sit on the injured reserve list after suffering a skate laceration to his wrist that has him out indefinitely. Given the need for him to post a strong senior season and the unknown recovery time it may put his chances for a pro contract with Montreal at risk.

Zachary Fucale: Fucale continues to have struggles this season while minding the net for the Halifax Mooseheads. His first start of the week saw him giving up 4 goals on 27 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Saint John Sea Dogs. His second start was not much better, he allowed 5 goals on 38 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Moncton Wildcats. Fucale finished the week with an .861 save percentage and sits at a very unremarkable .891 for the season, 12th in the QMJHL.

Hayden Hawkey: While it is a bit early to say Hawkey has regained the form he showed last season, his only start of the week saw him turn in a strong performance. He stopped 24 of 25 shots and stood strong in the shootout to give the Omaha Lancers a 2-1 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede. His save percentage has risen from .867 to .890 in his last two starts.

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 1 0 1 1 0
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 0 0 0 0 0
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 1 0 0 0 0

Artturi Lehkonen: It was a light week for Lehkonen with Frolunda HC. He recorded an assist in a 5-1 win for Frolunda over Tappara Tampere in the 1st round of the Champions League playoffs, his only game of the week. His team leads their series 1-0.

Joonas Nattinen: Nattinen did not play this past week, as the SHL was on break due to Champions Hockey League play.

Martin Reway: A short week for Martin Reway with Sparta Praha, he went without a point in a 2-1 loss to Linkoping HC in the 1st round of the Champions league playoffs, his team trails the series 0-1.

Year to date statistics:

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 19 12 17 29 26
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 12 8 13 21 32
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 4 2 2 4 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 22 3 8 10 28
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 14 11 12 23 12
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 14 0 0 0 42
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 8 0 1 1 10
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 10 3 3 6 6
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 5 5 2 7 0
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 18 4 6 10 2
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 18 1 3 4 12
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 12 1 9 10 30
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 13 6 7 2 3.32 .891 1
Hayden Hawkey USHL 10 3 6 1 3.29 .890 1