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Catching the Torch: Artturi Lehkonen finds his scoring touch

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A weekly statistical report on the Montreal Canadiens' junior and European prospects

Frölunda HC

Player of the Week: Artturi Lehkonen

While Lehkonen has struggled for the majority of his rookie SHL season, he came forward with a remarkable display of his actual talent this past week with Frolunda HC. He went without a point in his first game, a 3-0 loss to Vaxjo Lakers HC.

His next game saw him break a 30-game goalless drought in stunning fashion, recording his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal to lead Frolunda to a 4-3 overtime win over Skelleftea AIK. He went without a point in his last game, a 4-2 loss to Orebro HK. His hat trick game marked his first multiple point game since October 11.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
3 3 0 3 2

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 3 0 4 4 2
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 1 0 0 0 0
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 2 0 2 2 2
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 3 1 2 3 2
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 3 1 2 3 2
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 3 1 2 3 4
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 3 1 1 2 0
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 2 1 1 2 2
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 2 1 0 0 0
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 2 1 1 2 2
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save % SO
Zach Fucale QMJHL 1 1 0 0 2.00 .920 0

Daniel Audette: Audette continues to maintain a productive pace with Sherbrooke Phoenix this season. He opened the week with a three-assist effort in a 4-3 overtime win over  the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. He went without a point in his next game, a 4-0 loss to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. He ended the week collecting an assist in a 2-1 win over Chicoutimi.

Jeremy Grégoire: It was something of an abrupt week for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar captain. He had no points in his first game, a 6-4 loss to the Quebec Remparts. He did not play for the remainder of the week as he was ruled out of play due to a back injury.

Michael McCarron: McCarron is building on his offensive consistency with the Oshawa Generals of late. Upon returning to the lineup following a two-game suspension, McCarron marked an assist in his first game, a 5-4 loss to the Kingston Frontenacs. He collected an assist in the next game as well, a 5-3 win over the Ottawa 67's. McCarron is currently running on a five-game points streak, scoring a goal and eight assists in that stretch.

Tim Bozon: Bozon continues to work on building his offensive totals in his comeback season with the Kootenay Ice. He scored and assist in his first game, a 5-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He went without a point in the next game, a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings. He finished out the week marking an assist in a 5-0 win over the Spokane Chiefs.

Brett Lernout: Lernout is starting to show a consistent offensive push with the Swift Current Broncos. He opened the week marking an assist in a 6-3 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. He was held pointless in his next game,  a 4-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels. His final game saw him score the game-winning goal along with an assist in a 5-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders. Lernout has not gone more than one game without recording a point in his last 18 games and has scored four goals and 10 assists in that time.

Nikita Scherbak: Scherbak finally broke out of his scoring slump this past week with the Everett Silvertips. He went without a point in his first two games, a 2-1 shootout loss to the Tri-City Americans and a 7-0 shutout loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds. He quickly broke his scoring drought in his final game versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes, scoring a goal 14 seconds into the game and finished the night with a goal and two assists in a 5-4 win over Lethbridge. Scherbak's four-game pointless run going into the previous week was only the second points drought of his season that went beyond one game. He is currently 11th overall in WHL scoring.

Nikolas Koberstein: Koberstein's rookie USHL season remains to have few talking points to it as he comes to the final stretch of the season with the Bloomington Thunder. He was pointless in his first two games, a 5-2 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks and a 1-0 loss to the Youngstown Phantoms. He marked a goal in his last game, a 4-2 loss to the Waterloo Black Hawks. Koberstein has just six points in 47 games in the Junior A USHL this season.

Josiah Didier: There was a run of offence in Didier's game this past week with the University of Denver. He marked an assist in his first game, a 6-4 win over Colorado College.  He scored a goal in his next match, a 6-3 win over Colorado. Didier has three points in his last three games, but remains sitting on eight points in 30 games as a senior.

Jake Evans: There continues to be a plodding pace to Evans's offensive game in the second half of his rookie season with the University of Notre Dame. He scored a goal in his first game, a 2-2 tie with Boston University. He went pointless his second game, a 3-2 win over Boston University. Evans has scored just four points in his last 14 games.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan continues to put the pieces together for a point per game season with the University of North Dakota. He scored a goal in his first game, a 3-1 win over Western Michigan University. He collected an assist in the next game in a 3-2 overtime win over Western Michigan. MacMillan leads all North Dakota players in goals with 16 in 27 games played.

Hayden Hawkey: 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.

Zach Fucale: It was a short week for Fucale as he has taken a backseat in the Quebec Remparts goaltending rotation due to his struggles this season. He did come out with a win in his only start, making 23 of 25 stops in a 5-2 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The win was his first start in seven where he posted a save percentage above .900 (.920), a run that saw him twice pulled from goal. He remains at a rather disturbing 16th overall in save percentage among QMJHL goalies at .886 on his 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 3 3 0 3 2
Joonas Nättinen (C/RW) SHL 3 1 0 1 4
Martin Réway (C/LW) Extraliga 0 0 0 0 0

Joonas Nättinen:  It was a quiet week for Nattinen with MODO Hockey. He scored a goal in his first game, a 4-1 win over Leskands IF. He went without a point in his next two games, a 6-1 loss to Linkoping HC and a 4-2 loss to Lulea HF.

Martin Réway: Reway did not play this week for Sparta Prague as he is out with an undisclosed injury.

Year to date statistics

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 47 25 36 61 56
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 24 14 17 31 43
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 46 28 32 60 110
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 42 26 26 52 14
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 59 13 21 34 62
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 54 24 47 71 48
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 47 4 2 6 97
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 30 2 6 8 51
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 33 7 9 16 20
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 27 16 9 27 27
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 42 7 8 15 10
Joonas Nättinen (C/RW) SHL 47 7 8 14 36
Martin Réway (C/LW) Extraliga 31 9 25 34 50
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 35 19 13 2 3.15 .886 3
Hayden Hawkey USHL 15 5 7 2 2.99 .896 1