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Catching the Torch: Michael McCarron performing beyond expectations

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

Claus Andersen

Player of the Week: Michael McCarron

McCarron continues to show a hot hand with the London Knights, and this week his scoring acumen was put on display. He scored his first career hat trick in a 6-4 over the Owen Sound Attack as he increased his goal scoring streak to four straight games. It was not all good news for McCarron in that game as he took a game misconduct over leaving the bench for a fight. McCarron has been suspended for two games by the OHL for the incident. McCarron is currently 5th in the OHL in points per game at 1.85 per game.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
1 3 0 3 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 2 0 0 0 2
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 1 3 0 3 7
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 2 1 1 2 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 2 0 1 1 0
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 5 0 3 3 0
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 2 1 0 1 0
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 2 0 1 1 2
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 2 1 2 3 0
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 2 2 0 0 2.88 .895 0
Hayden Hawkey USHL 2 0 2 0 2.44 .900 0

Daniel Audette: Daniel Audette has gone into a minor slump of late. He would go without a point in both a 2-1 shootout loss to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and a 1-0 shutout loss to the Gatineau Olympiques. Audette has only 1 point in his last 5 games, albeit he still stands at a point per game average of 1.38 per game.

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.

Tim Bozon: Bozon continues to prove that he is on the comeback trail this season. He scored a shorthanded goal and added an assist in a 7-6 overtime win over the Calgary Hitmen, his goal was the tying marker to bring the game into overtime.  He went without a point in his second game, a 4-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He has three goals and three assists in 6 games this season.

Brett Lernout: Lernout is having trouble finding the scoresheet of late with the Swift Current Broncos. He went without a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Prince Albert Raiders in his first game of the week. He picked up a key assist in his next game, assisting on the game-winning drive in a 2-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds. While Lernoout stands at a half point per game on his season with 12 points in 24 games, he has only 3 goals.

Nikolas Koberstein: Koberstein's season continues to largely stagnate with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL this season but with a lone bright spot this past week. He went without a point in his first game, a 5-0 shutout of the Des Moines Buccaneers. After going 15 games without a point, Koberstein finally marked his first career USHL point with a goal in a 5-1 defeat of the Waterloo Black Hawks. See Koberstein's 1st USHL goal.

Nikita Scherbak. Photo credit: Everett Silvertips

Nikita Scherbak: It has been a very busy week for Scherbak. He played in both games of the CHL Super Series featuring Russian selects versus the top Canadian talents from the WHL in two games. Scherbak scored no points in the opening game, but marked a shootout goal in the eventual 3-2 shootout decision for Team Russia. He was scoreless in the next game, a 3-2 win for Team Russia.

Scherbak continues to be one of the premiere offensive players in the WHL this season. After going without a point in a 4-3 shootout win over the Portland Winterhawks he quickly stepped up his campaign. He marked two assists in an eventual 3-2 shootout win over the Kamloops Blazers. He marked an assist on Everett's lone goal as they were routed 7-1 by the Portland Winterhawks to close out their weekend. He leads Everett in scoring with 11 goals and 15 assists in 17 games.

Josiah Didier: The University of Denver had no games scheduled this week.

Jake Evans: Evans is setting the pace for a respectable freshmen campaign with the University of Notre Dame this season. He marked an assist on the overtime winning goal in a 3-2 victory over Merrimack College. He went without a point in his next game, a 4-1 loss to Merrimack. Evans is the leading freshmen scorer on Notre Dame with 3 goals and 4 assists over 12 games, 6th overall for team scoring.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan returned to action this past week after spending time on the injured reserve due to a laceration on his wrist serious enough to require surgery. He scored an assist in his first game, a 3-2 loss to Miami University. He stepped up his offensive contributions in the following game, marking a goal and assist in a 4-1 defeat of Miami University in the next game. Through 7 games this season, MacMillan has scored 6 goals.

Zachary Fucale: A theme of inconsistency continues to find itself wrapped up in Fucale's season in Halifax. In his first start of the week, Fucale gave up 4 goals on 25 shots but stopped all 3 shooters in the shootout to earn a 5-4 win over Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He stepped up in his next outing, stopping 30 of 32 shots for a 3-2 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Fucale's save percentage stands at .892 on the season, which ranks him at a rather unremarkable 11th overall in the QMJHL.

Hayden Hawkey: Hawkey's season has shown some signs of growth after a very difficult start, but he continues to display some issues in nets for the Omaha Lancers. He gave up 4 goals on 25 shots in his first game of the week, a 4-3 loss to Chicago Steel. His next game showed better form, allowing only 1 goal on 25 shots, but unfortunately failed to make a stop in the shootout in a 2-1 loss to the Tri-City Storm. Hawkey's save percentage on the season stands at .891, ranking him 20th in the USHL.

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 3 0 2 2 2
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 2 0 0 0 0
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 3 1 2 3 2

Artturi Lehkonen: Lehkonen continues to maintain a strong offensive pace in both the Champions Hockey League and the SHL this season. He marked an  an assist in a 4-2 win for Frolunda HC over Tappara Tampere as Frolunda won their 1st round series in the Champions Hockey League playoffs. He picked up an assist in his first game back in the SHL, a 3-1 win over Leksands IF. He went without a point in a 3-0 shutout loss to Brynas IF. Lehkonen has 6 points in 7 games in the CHL this season and is also 4th in scoring among skaters under 20 years old in the SHL.

Joonas Nattinen: It continues to be a disappointing offensive season for Nattinen in the SHL. He went without a point in a 2-1 loss to Djurgardens IF and failed to find the scoresheet in a 5-4 loss to Leksands IF. He has 4 points and only 1 goal in 20 games in the SHL this season.

Martin Reway: Reway has enjoyed a very productive run in the initial season of the Champions Hockey League, but that has unfortunately come to an end. He marked assist in a 2-2 tie with Linkopings HC but due to the 2-1 loss in the initial game of the series, Sparta Praha has been eliminated from the CHL playoffs due to goal differential. Reway had a point per game run in the CHL with 2 goals and 6 assists in 8 games. Reway went without a point in his first game back in the Extraliga, a 2-1 overtime win over HC Olomouc. He scored a goal and assist in his final game, a 4-3 overtime loss to HC Zlin. His 12 points in 14 games leads all skaters under 20 in the Extraliga, he is also 2nd on his team in assists.

Year to date statistics:

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 21 12 17 29 28
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 13 11 13 24 39
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 6 3 3 6 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 24 3 9 12 28
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 17 11 15 26 12
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 16 1 0 1 42
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 8 0 1 1 10
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 12 3 4 7 8
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 7 6 4 10 0
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 20 4 7 11 2
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 20 1 3 4 12
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 12 2 10 12 32
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 17 8 7 2 3.27 .892 0
Hayden Hawkey USHL 12 3 7 1 3.14 .891 1