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Catching The Torch: Tim Bozon tears up the WHL Playoffs

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

Kootenay Ice

Player of the Week: Tim Bozon

It was an outstanding week for the Kootenay Ice sniper as he aided his team in a rally against the Calgary Hitmen. His first game saw him reach a career best in single-game playoff scoring, scoring two goals and three assists in an 8-7 overtime loss to Calgary. He went without a point in the next game, a 7-2 loss to Calgary which put Kootenay on the brink with a 3-1 series deficit. He marked a pair of assists in the following game, a 5-4 overtime win over Calgary.

He notched his third goal of the playoffs in a 3-2 win over Calgary to round out his week Kootenay is tied 3-3 in their series with Calgary. Bozon has scored three goals and six assists in six playoff games, is third on his team in playoff scoring and sixth overall in WHL playoff scoring.

GP Goals Assists Points PIM
4 3 6 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 in the aforementioned leagues performed last week:

Player League GP G A PTS PIM
Daniel Audette (C) QMJHL 2 0 1 0 0
Jeremy Grégoire (RW) QMJHL 3 3 4 7 6
Michael McCarron (RW) OHL 3 0 0 0 4
Tim Bozon (LW) WHL 4 3 6 9 6
Brett Lernout (D) WHL 2 0 0 0 0
Nikita Scherbak (RW) WHL 3 1 1 2 4
Nikolas Koberstein (D) USHL 2 0 2 2 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 3 2 1 0 3.09 0.875 0

Daniel Audette: It was a quiet week in the playoffs for Daniel Audette with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He picked up an assist in his first game, a 5-2 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders. He went scoreless in his next two games, a 2-1 win for Sherbrooke and a 4-0 victory for Charlottetown. Audette has two goals and two assists in five playoff games so far, as Sherbrooke trails Charlottetown 3-2 in their series.

Jeremy Grégoire: The captain of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar stepped up this past week to help his team achieve victory. He scored a goal and two assists in his first game, a 6-5 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs. He went without a point in his next game, a 4-2 loss to Saint John. He led his team in his final game of the week, scoring two goals and two assists in a 7-4 win that secured a 4-1 series victory for Baie-Comeau. Gregoire has scored three goals and five assists in five playoff games.

Michael McCarron: It was a flat offensive week for McCarron in the OHL playoffs with the Oshawa Generals. He went pointless in his first game a 3-1 loss to the Peterborough Petes. He was scoreless in the following two games as well, 4-0 and 3-2 wins for Oshawa which also sealed the series victory for Oshawa, four games to one. McCarron has two goals and one assist in five playoff games.

Brett Lernout: Lernout's WHL season came to a close this past week with the Swift Current Broncos. Lernout went scoreless in both a 5-4 overtime loss and a 4-0 shutout loss to the Regina Pats as they were swept 4-0 in the first round of the WHL playoffs. Lernout had 1 goal in four playoff games. Lernout's regular season saw him notably improve over his previous season, with 14 goals and 28 assists compared to the 8 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: It was a quiet week by relative standards for the Everett Silvertips star. He was scoreless in his first game, a 2-1 overtime win over the Spokane Chiefs. He scored a goal and assist in his next game, a 3-1 win over Spokane. He went without a point in his final game, a 4-3 overtime loss to Spokane. Everett currently holds a 3-2 series lead over Spokane. Scherbak has a goal and two assists in five playoff games.

Nikolas Koberstein: While Koberstein's USHL season largely remains a bust, he did hit a career benchmark this past week with Bloomington Thunder. He went pointless in his first game, a 4-3 loss to Chicago Steel. He put up his first career multipoint game in the USHL with two assists in a 3-2 win over the Green Bay Gamblers.

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.

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: After being relegated to the bench to open the playoffs, Fucale found himself back in nets this past week for the Quebec Remparts. He came in relief play in Game 3 after his team fell behind 4-0 and, allowed two goals on 19 shots in an eventual 6-5 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He allowed five goals on 20 shots in his first start of the series, a 6-5 win over Cape Breton. He stopped 24 of 25 shots in his next game, a 3-1 win over Cape Breton. Quebec holds a 3-2 series lead over Cape Breton. Through 155:15 minutes of action in the playoffs, Fucale has a 3.09 Goals Against Average and a 0.875 save percentage.

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

Artturi Lehkonen: Lehkonen's production came to a halt this past week with Frolunda HC in the SHL playoffs. He went scoreless in three straight games, the first a 2-1 triple overtime loss to Vaxjo Lakers HC. He went scoreless in the following two games as well, a set of 4-2 and 4-0 losses to Vaxjo. Vaxjo currently has a 3-1 series advantage over Frolunda. Lehkonen has scored three goals and two assists in 11 playoff games and is tied for 2nd on his team in playoff scoring.

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: It was an uneventful week for Reway in the Extraliga playoffs with HC Sparta Praha. He went without a point in two straight games, 4-1 and 2-1 wins  over HC Trinec. He was scratched in his team's final game of the week, a 3-2 shootout loss to HC Trinec. Trinec holds a 3-2 series lead over Sparta. Reway has a goal and six assists in eight playoff games and is third on his team in playoff scoring.

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 59 4 9 13 128
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