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Catching the Torch: Nikita Scherbak matches career highs

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

Marissa Baecker

Player of the Week: Nikita Scherbak

Scherbak matched and exceeded some of his personal records this past week with the Everett Silvertips. He scored a goal and assist in his first game, a 3-2 overtime win over the Kelowna Rockets. In the next game, he assisted on his team's only goal in a 1-0 win over the Tri-City Americans. He picked up an assist in his final game, a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Giants. His three assists this past week raised him to 51 on the season, one over his previous season total of 50, playing five fewer games. He also matched his previous season high of 78 points in a season, also with five fewer games played.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
3 1 3 4 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 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 1 1 2 0
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 2 1 0 1 5
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 2 0 0 0 4
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 2 0 0 0 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 3 0 2 2 4
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 3 1 3 4 4
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 2 0 1 1 17
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 2 0 0 0 0
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 2 0 1 0 0
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save % SO
Zach Fucale QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Daniel Audette: There is a growing theme of Audette mirroring his previous season of late. He went without a point in his first game, a 6-0 loss to Rimouski Oceanic. He picked up an assist in the next game, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Gatineau Olympiques. He ended the week scoring a goal, along with a shootout marker to help his team gain a 3-2 victory in a rematch with Gatineau in the following game. Audette's offensive pace is near-identical to his previous season, with a 1.16 points per game average versus a 1.12 points per game average the previous year.

Jeremy Grégoire: It was something of a rough week for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar captain. He would score the only goal for his team to open the week in a brutal 9-1 loss to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He went pointless along the rest of his team in a 5-0 shutout loss to the Val d'Or Foreurs. Gregoire missed his team's remaining game of the week with an injury he sustained in the 5-0 loss.

Michael McCarron: It was a rather flat offensive week for McCarron with the Oshawa Generals. He went without a point in his first game, a 3-0 victory over the Plymouth Whalers. He was scoreless in the next contest as well, a 6-3 win over the Windsor Spitfires. After a 7-game points streak, McCarron has gone without  a point in his last 3 games.

Tim Bozon: It was a short and unproductive week for the Kootenay Ice sniper. Bozon went without a point in his first game, a 2-1 loss to the Red Deer Rebels. He was shut along with the rest of his team in the following game, a 1-0 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. Bozon continues to lead Kootenay in goals with 31 on the season.

Brett Lernout: Lernout's steady pace with the Swift Current Broncos remains the hallmark of his season. He marked an assist in his first game, a 6-2 loss to the Red Deer Rebels. He matched that contribution in the next game, a 3-2 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors. He went pointless as his team was routed 9-1 by the Brandon Wheat Kings. Lernout is tied for the defensive scoring lead on his team with 13 goals, 25 assists in 66 games this season.

Nikolas Koberstein: There is not much to speak about in Koberstein's USHL season. He marked an assist in his first game, a 5-3 win over the Madison Capitals. He went without a point in his second game, a 3-0 loss to Madison. He has just nine points in 51 games this year.

Josiah Didier: It remains an unremarkable offensive season for the senior University of Denver defencemen. Didier went without a point in either of his games, a 3-2 win over St Cloud State University and a 4-2 loss to St Cloud State the following night.  He has just 9 points in 34 games this season.

Jake Evans: As has been the case in the second half of his rookie season, Evans continues to struggle to find the scoresheet with the University of Notre Dame. In the first round of the Hockey East Division playoffs, he marked an assist in his first game, a 4-3 loss to the University of Massachusetts. He went without a point in the next games, a 5-3 win over Massachusetts in Game 2 and a 7-0 victory in Game 3, giving a 2-1 series victory to Notre Dame. Evans has just 5 points in his last 20 games.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan has been potentially ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an undisclosed lower-body injury that required surgery this pasat week.

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: Allowed 4 goals on 29 shots in in a 5-2 loss to Blainville-Boisbriand.

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 2 0 0 0 0
Joonas Nättinen (C/RW) SHL 2 0 0 0 2
Martin Réway (C/LW) Extraliga 0 0 0 0 0

Artturi Lehkonen: Lehkonen finished out his regular season in the SHL this past week with little noise on the scoresheet. He went without a point in his first game, a 3-0 win over Linkopings HC. He was held pointless along with the rest of his team in a 3-0 shutout loss to Lulea HF. Lehkonen scored eight goals and eight assists over 47 games in a regular season plagued by a massive scoring drought that saw him score 1 goal in 30 games at one point. Overall, he was 10th on his team in scoring and 9th in scoring among Under-20 skaters in the SHL. His team, Frolunda HC will participate in the SHL playoffs.

Joonas Nättinen:  There was not much flash to the end of Nattinen's first season in the SHL. He went without a point in a 5-3 loss to Orebro HK and was similarly stymied in a 2-1 loss to Brynas IF. Nattinen concluded the year with 7 goals and 11 assists in 55 games and due to MODO Hockey finishing outside of the SHL playoffs, his team will have to play the SHL qualifier to avoid relegation to the secondary pro league, the Allsvenskan next year.

Martin Réway: Reway did not play this past week due to a break in the schedule between the Extraliga regular season and the playoffs.

Year to date statistics

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 56 26 38 63 64
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 26 15 20 35 52
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 49 28 35 63 116
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 46 31 27 58 19
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 63 13 23 36 64
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 57 26 48 74 54
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 51 3 6 9 116
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 32 2 7 9 51
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 38 7 10 17 20
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 29 16 9 25 27
Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW) SHL 45 8 8 16 10
Joonas Nättinen (C/RW) SHL 55 7 11 18 36
Martin Réway (C/LW) Extraliga 34 9 28 37 54
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save% SO
Zachary Fucale QMJHL 35 20 14 2 3.19 .884 3
Hayden Hawkey USHL 15 5 7 2 2.99 .896 1