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Catching the Torch: Michael McCarron undaunted by World Junior Championship snub

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

Claus Anderson

Player of the Week: Michael McCarron

It was a show-stopping week for Michael McCarron, as he played his last game as a London Knight. In a game where the Knights destroyed the Sarnia Sting 11-4, McCarron led all Knights in scoring, with three goals and three assists for the first six-point game of his career. The six-point effort also saw him pass his previous season mark of 34 points, while having played 41 fewer games by comparison.

That game also ended up being his last with London as he was dealt to the Oshawa Generals, who are currently first in the entire OHL, and eyeing a league championship along with a Memorial Cup run. McCarron impressed in his Generals debut, scoring a goal and two assists in a 6-0 whitewash of the Sudbury Wolves. He went without a point in his last game of the week, a 6-4 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, which snapped a seven-game goal scoring streak, where he had compiled nine goals in addition to eight assists. McCarron's current 1.59 points per game scoring pace is more than three times his previous season's rate of production.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
3 4 5 9 6

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 Collegiate 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 4 1 5 6 2
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 4 1 3 4 4
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 3 4 5 9 8
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 3 0 2 2 2
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 3 1 0 1 0
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 3 1 3 4 6
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 2 0 0 0 17
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 2 0 0 0 2
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 1 0 0 0 0
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 1 0 2 2 0

Daniel Audette:  Audette continues to prove himself a potent playmaker this season for Sherbrooke Phoenix. He started the week generating two assists in a 6-3 win over the Gatineau Olympiques. He added an assist in the next game, a 4-3 shootout win over the Victoriaville Tigres. He was pointless in the next game, a 5-1 loss to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He ended the week scoring a goal and two assists in a 6-3 loss to the Val-d'Or Foreurs.

Jeremy Gregoire: Gregoire looks to be getting back into the swing of things after missing the first 33 games of the season while recovering from a wrist injury. He went without a point in his first game of the week, a 3-1 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes. He marked his first points of the season, two assists in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in his next game. He collected an assist in the following game, a 2-1 win over Rimouski Oceanic. He scored his first goal of the year in his last game, a 4-3 overtime loss in a rematch with Rimouski.

Tim Bozon: Bozon has been consistent, but not exceptional of late in the WHL. He picked up an assist in his first game, a 5-4 shootout loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. He equaled that production in his next game,  a 5-3 win over the Red Deer Rebels. He finished the week going without a point in a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings. He is third on his team in points per game scoring at 1.28.

Brett Lernout: Lernout started his week scoring a goal in a 4-3 shootout win over the Red Deer Rebels. He went without a point in his next two games a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings and a 2-1 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. Lernout continues to lead his team in defensive scoring with nine goals, 11 assists over 40 games.

Nikita Scherbak: Scherbak is proving very difficult to keep off of the scoresheet this season with the Everett Silvertips. He scored a goal in his first game, a 4-2 loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds. He marked an assist in his next, a 2-1 win over the Prince Albert Raiders. He finished the week putting two assists up in a 6-2 win over the Saskatoon Blades. Scherbak is on an eight-game points streak right now, having scored four goals, seven assists in that span and has only failed to register a point in three of his 32 games this season. He is eighth in points per game scoring in the WHL this season and leads Everett in PPG scoring by a 0.61 margin.

Nikolas Koberstein: Koberstein's season in the USHL is firmly seated in the 'bust' category this year. He had no points in a pair of games versus the Tri-City Storm, with his team, the Sioux City Stampede, winning 3-1 and 6-4. He has one point in 30 games this season while playing at the Junior A level.

Josiah Didier: It was a quiet week for Didier again with the University of Denver. He went without a point in both a 1-1 tie with Dartmouth College and a 5-3 win over Brown University.

Jake Evans: Evans missed the scoresheet in his only game of the week, a 2-1 loss to Lake Superior State University. He leads all freshmen on Notre Dame in scoring with five goals, seven assists.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan did not play in any official NCAA games this past week. He did participate in an exhibition game against Team USA's Under-18 Development Team, marking two assists in a 7-2 win 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 29.

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 0 0 0 0

Joonas Nattinen: Nattinen's run of production winded down with MODO Hockey this past week.  He went pointless in a 2-0 loss to Frolunda HC and a 6-3 loss to Skelleftea AIK.

Year to date statistics:

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 35 16 27 43 46
Jeremy Gregoire (RW) QMJHL 5 1 3 4 8
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 27 22 21 43 66
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 25 13 19 32 6
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 40 9 11 20 48
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 32 18 30 48 22
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 30 1 0 1 75
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 17 1 3 4 43
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 20 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 31 3 6 9 26
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