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Catching the Torch: Scherbak the MVP in Everett

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

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Player of the Week: Nikita Scherbak

Scherbak's season in Everett can only be described as that of their Most Valuable Player. He scored a goal in his first game, a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Giants.  He took off in his next game, recording his first three-assist game of the season in an eventual 7-6 shootout win over the Victoria Royals. He was the deciding factor in the next match, scoring the overtime winner for Everett in a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Giants.

He continued his offensive streak into his final game, scoring a goal in a 3-2 loss to the Tri-City Americans. Scherbak is now on a 5-game points streak, scoring three goals and four assists during that time, while keeping a points per game average of 1.52, 5th-best in the WHL and 1st on his team by an exceptional 0.58.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
4 3 4 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

With the holiday break interrupting the regular schedule, the statistics for the last two weeks will be combined to bring you the latest edition of Catching the Torch.

Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 2 0 1 1 2
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 1 0 0 0 2
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 1 1 0 0 0
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 3 1 3 4 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 3 0 1 1 5
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 4 3 3 6 4
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 3 0 0 0 2
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 1 2 1 3 0
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0

Daniel Audette: Audette seems to have entered a minor slump in his season of late with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He picked up an assist in his first game, a 2-1 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes. He missed the scoresheet in his second game though, a 4-3 win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Audette has scored just two points in his last 5 games and only 3 goals in his last 15 games.

Jeremy Gregoire: Gregoire finally played his first QMJHL game of the season for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar this past weekend following his recovery from wrist surgery back in October, he scored no points in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Quebec Remparts.

Michael McCarron: While McCarron may not have found a place on Team USA for the World Junior Championships, he returned to London and maintained one of his best offensive streaks of the season. In his only game, McCarron scored his 18th goal of the season in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Windsor Spitfires. McCarron's goal scoring streak now extends to five games, he has also scored 3 assists in the streak while maintaining a season average of 0.75 goals per gam, which rates him for a 51-goal season in a complete OHL campaign. McCarron also matched his previous season scoring total of 34 points, doing so in 42 fewer games.

Tim Bozon: Bozon is keeping a steady offensive pace this season with the Kootenay Ice. He collected a goal in his first game, a 5-2 win over the Kamloops Blazers. He marked two assists in his next game, a 6-2 win over the Calgary Hitmen. He marked an assist in a 4-3 win over a rematch with the Hitmen. Bozon is currently running a 5-game points streak, having scored a goal and six assists in the stretch. He is currently pacing at 1.36 points per game average.

Brett Lernout: Lernout is maintaining his offensive contributions at an even level with the Swift Current Broncos this year. He picked up an assist in his first game, a 5-2 win over the Saskatoon Blades. He went without a point in his next game, a 5-3 win over the Regina Pats.  He was scoreless in the rematch with Regina the following game as well, a 6-1 loss for Swift Current. Lernout leads all defencemen on Swift Current in scoring with 8 goals and 11 assists in 37 games.

Nikolas Koberstein: Koberstein's season continues to sit in the 'bust' category. He went pointless in a 4-2 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers, a 4-2 loss to the Fargo Force, a 3-2 win over Fargo and a 4-3 shootout win over the Sioux City Musketeers. Koberstein has only 1 point in 30 games this season while being tied for the team lead in penalty minutes.

Josiah Didier: Didier did not play as there were no scheduled games  for the University of Denver.

Jake Evans: Evans played only one game for Notre Dame during the past two weeks, but it was an exceptional one for him and his team. Evans led a late-game rally that saw him assist on his team's first goal, score the tying goal and then the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory over Miami University. It was Evans first multi-goal game of the season and saw him take over the lead among freshmen scoring on Notre Dame with 5 goals, 7 assists in 19 games.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan did not play as there were no scheduled games these past two weeks for the University of North Dakota.

Hayden Hawkey: Hayden Hawkey has unfortunately been ruled out for the remainder of the 2014-15 season due to suffering tears in his Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Medial Collateral Ligament on November 29th.

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
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 2 1 1 2 2

Joonas Nattinen: Nattinen is breathing life into what had been a mostly soft offensive season with MODO Hockey. He recorded an assist in his first  game of the week with MODO Hockey, a 4-3 overtime loss to Vaxjo Lakers HC. He scored a goal in his next game, a 4-3 loss to Leksands IF. Nattinen has now scored five points in his last seven games.

Year to date statistics:

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 30 15 22 37 42
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 24 18 16 34 58
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 22 13 17 30 6
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 37 8 11 19 48
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 29 17 27 44 22
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 27 1 0 1 58
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 15 1 3 4 41
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 19 5 7 12 10
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 15 8 7 15 17
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 30 4 7 11 6
Joonas Nattinen (C/RW) SHL 29 1 5 6 24
Martin Reway (C/LW) Extraliga 22 5 16 21 36
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 24 13 9 2 3.20 .890 2
Hayden Hawkey USHL 15 5 7 2 2.99 .896 1