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Catching The Torch: Mike McCarron dominating in playoffs

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

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Player of the Week:  Michael McCarron

It was a productive week for Michael McCarron with the Oshawa Generals as they continue to push their way through the OHL playoffs. He marked an assist in his first game, a 7-3 loss to the Niagara IceDogs. He put on the best performance of his OHL playoff career to date in his next game, scoring two goals and two assists in a 7-4 win over Niagara. He went without a point in his final game, a 4-2 win over Niagara. Oshawa defeated Niagara in their playoff series four games to one and have advanced to the OHL Eastern Conference Finals. He has scored six goals and five assists in ten playoff games this season.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
3 2 3 5 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 in the aforementioned leagues performed last week:

Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 0 0 0 0 0
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 3 1 1 2 6
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 3 2 3 5 6
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 0 0 0 0 0
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 0 0 0 0 0
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 3 0 3 3 4
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 0 0 0 0 0
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Mark MacMillan (C) NCAA 0 0 0 0 0
Goalie League GP W L OTL GAA Save % SO
Zach Fucale QMJHL 2 2 0 0 2.00 .934 0

Daniel Audette: Audette's season in the QMJHL has closed following his team's defeat in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. Audette marked two goals and four assists in six playoff games, ranking him third on his team in playoff scoring. His regular season saw him post 29 goals and 44 assists in 60 games, which is noteworthy for his improvement from a .31 to a .48 goals per game average versus the previous season where he scored 21 goals in 68 games.

Jeremy Grégoire: It was a quiet week for Gregoire with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar given his previous pace in this year's playoffs.  He scored a goal and assist in his first game, a 6-3 win over the Val d'Or Foreurs. He went without a point in his next two games, a 4-3 double Overtime loss to Val d'Or and a 5-2 win over Val d'Or. Baie-Comeau leads Val d'Or three games to two in their playoff series. Gregoire has scored eight goals and nine assists in 10 playoff games, ranking him fourth in playoff scoring in the QMJHL and first on his team.

Tim Bozon: Bozon's final season in the WHL has closed out following his team's loss in the first round of the WHL playoffs. He the playoffs fourth on his team in scoring with three goals and six assists. His regular season saw him post 35 goals and 28 assists in 57 games, making him the goal leader for Kootenay in the regular season. Bozon has since been called up to the Hamilton Bulldogs to play out the remainder of the AHL season.

Brett Lernout: Lernout's WHL season with the Swift Current Broncos has concluded following a first-round playoff series loss to the Regina Pats. Lernout's regular season saw him notably improve over his previous season, with 14 goals and 28 assists compared to the eight goals and 14 assists the previous year. He also reduced his penalty minutes, with only 68 versus the 103 he'd accumulated in 2013-14. For further news this season on Lernout, check out the Bulldogs Report tomorrow as he has joined them for the remainder of their season.

Nikita Scherbak: Scherbak's WHL season came to an unfortunate end this past week. He opened the week marking an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. He went without a point in his next game, a 2-1 overtime loss to Portland. He finished the week out collecting two assists in a 3-2 loss to Portland, which ended Everett's playoff run. Everett lost their series to Portland in five games. Scherbak's playoffs were arguably quiet for someone of his abilities with three goals and five assists in 11 playoff games, he finished second in team scoring for Everett. He finished first on his team in scoring in the regular season with 27 goals and 55 assists in 65 games, which also ranked him 16th overall in regular season scoring.

Nikolas Koberstein: Koberstein's rookie USHL season has come to a close following a very disappointing season. Koberstein scored four goals and eight assists in 61 games this season with a rather dismal 138 penalty minutes to go along with it. Given his season record as an 18-year old in Junior A hockey, his career prospects can presently be placed as being very much in the fringe of the Canadiens prospect rankings.

Josiah Didier: Didier's senior NCAA season has wrapped up, he scored three goals and eight assists in 40 games, which is a rather underwhelming level of production for a senior NCAA defender. With the conclusion of the season, he has signed a pro tryout contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs. See Scott Matla's Bulldogs report tomorrow for details on how his professional debut is going.

Jake Evans: Evans rookie season in the NCAA is over following Notre Dame's elimination from the Hockey East Playoffs and their failure to qualify for the National Tournament. Evans has seven goals and ten assists in 41 games this season, these numbers heavily suffered from a disappointing second half where he had five points in his final 22 games.

Mark MacMillan: MacMillan has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an undisclosed lower-body injury that required surgery. He finished the season leading his team in goals with 16 and was named First All-Conference for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, along with being named the Best Defensive Forward in the Conference. As of yesterday, the Canadiens have announced the signing of MacMillan to a 2-year Entry-Level Contract.

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 solid week in nets for Fucale with the Quebec Remparts. He made 30 saves in his first game of the week, a 5-2 win over the Charlottetown Islanders. He Stopped 27 of 29 in his next game, which saw another 5-2 victory for the Remparts. Quebec took their playoff series four games to none over Charlottetown and have advanced to Semi-Final round. Fucale finished the week with a .934 save percentage and raised his playoff save percentage to .905.

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

Artturi Lehkonen: Lehkonen's SHL season has closed following his team's defeat in the second round of the SHL playoffs. Lehkonen finished the playoffs with three goals and three assists in 13 games, finishing second on his team in playoff scoring. His regular season was unfortunately less notable, with eight goals and eight assists in 47 games, ranking him only 10th in regular season scoring for his team.

Joonas Nättinen: Nattinen ended his regular season with seven goals and 11 assists in 55 games, eighth overall on his team in scoring. Given his being 24 years old and his production at this stage of his pro career, he is very much in the fringe category of Canadiens prospect.

Martin Réway: Reway's season is up following his team's loss in the second round of the Extraliga playoffs. Reway scored a goal and six assists in eight playoff games and finished third on his team in playoff scoring. Reway's regular season statistics have him at nine goals and 28 assists in 34 games played and was third in scoring for Sparta Praha despite playing at least 12 fewer games than everyone in the top 10 of team scoring. His 1.03 points per game placed him above all players aged under 24 in the Extraliga, despite only turning 20 in January.

Year to date statistics

Player League GP G A P PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 58 29 44 73 64
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 32 20 21 41 59
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 56 28 40 68 128
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 57 35 28 63 19
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 72 14 28 42 68
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 65 27 55 82 60
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 61 4 8 12 138
Josiah Didier (D) NCAA 40 3 8 11 58
Jake Evans (C) NCAA 41 7 10 17 22
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 41 21 17 2 3.21 .885 3
Hayden Hawkey USHL 15 5 7 2 2.99 .896 1