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Canadiens development camp final notes

After taking in most of development camp this week, here's some general notes, and a player-by-player breakdown.

Bruce Bennett

For the final scrimmage, the Canadiens loaded up one line for each team. For Team Red, it was de la Rose, Audette, and Sekac, while Team White had McCarron, Hudon, and Scherbak. When the two lines played head to head, you could tell that the pace of the game picked up significantly.

The Hudon line produced more during the game, but both lines were pretty incredible. The chemistry between de la Rose and Sekac is palpable.

Team White took the game by a huge margin due to having a second line that clicked wonderfully, with Thomas, Holland, and MacMillan wracking up four goals, while Team Red was more of a one line team.

Player Breakdown

Justin Agosta - RD: Made a few costly turnovers, didn't seem to be a great decision maker.

Samuel Anas - C: Has a very unfortunate name, wasn't very noticeable otherwise

Sven Andrighetto - RW: Was put on a line where he was the only guy able to generate much, maybe as a challenge. He rose to it and scored anyway, one of the few able to chip in for Team Red. One of the best skaters in the camp.

Daniel Audette - C: Had trouble doing drills on Thursday, but killed it during the scrimmage between two towering wingers. Made a ton of high risk plays at both bluelines, but rarely got caught. He's got high end skill, and looks to play a gritty game.

Nathan Beaulieu - LD: Is Nathan Beaulieu, is awesome. Didn't play in the scrimmage because the Habs wanted to evaluate other defensemen.

Mac Bennett - LD: Bennett was paired with Koberstein, and the two were pretty good together. Bennett skates well, doesn't take many risks, but doesn't seem to create many chances as a result.

Colton Bobyk - LD: Had some pretty good offensive instincts, but couldn't make much happen when he got the puck in good positions. His shot seemed weak.

Daniel Carr - LW: Injured, didn't play.

Mike Condon - G: Presumably injured, didn't play.

Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin - LD: Didn't really stand out.

Connor Crisp - C: Injured, didn't play.

Gianluca Curcuruto - LD: Most Italian name of all time, but didn't really stand out in terms of play.

Jacob de la Rose - LW: The most polished player at development camp. Voracious backchecker, created tons of chances, phenomenal skating stride and great vision. He looks like an NHLer, but was also playing with non-NHLers so it's still wait and see mode.

Josiah Didier - RD: Marked improvement from last year. Smooth skater, quietly solid on defense, and surprisingly good offensive instincts. Being a college player, Didier won't be at rookie camp, but he certainly left the impression that he's not a throwaway prospect.

Darren Dietz - RD: Injured, didn't play.

Morgan Ellis - RD: Like Didier, Ellis is quietly efficient. His shots were dangerous, his defensive work was good, his skating solid. He's not going to be a star, but he still looks like he could eventually make the NHL.

Danny Federico - LD: Jumped up into the play a ton, and although he didn't get caught much, was out of position quite a bit.

Stefan Fournier - RW: Presumably injured, didn't play.

Zachary Fucale - G: Honestly, Fucale looked a little sharper last year. He let in all the goals Team Red scored, including one from behind the net by Andrighetto.

Philippe Gadoury - C: Didn't notice him at all, though he may have played.

Alexandre Goulet - C: Kind of the third wheel on a line with Momesso and Corson, but also not out of place.

Jeremy Gregoire - C: Didn't stand out as much as the last camp I saw him at, couldn't get much chemistry going with Andrighetto. That said, Gregoire is the kind of player that will always find ways to contribute.

Hayden Hawkey - G: Got lit up by Team White, but only one goal was weak, and even that one was a pretty weird shot. His skills look okay, but hopefully he gets more playing time than expected next year in college.

Matthew Highmore - C: Didn't notice him.

Patrick Holland - RW: Holland looks much better than last year. He scored a goal and set up Thomas for two others. He looks like he's ready to produce a whole heck of a lot more in the AHL, but that depends on Sylvain Lefebvre as always.

Charles Hudon - C: Hudon has been moved to center by Martin Lapointe and the Canadiens' org, and holy crap did it ever pay dividends right away. Hudon was easily the best player in the scrimmage on Friday, putting at the very least 8 shots on net, and generating scoring chances whenever he touched the puck. He worked well with Scherbak, and looked like the dynamic Hudon we saw last year before the back injury.

Bokondji Imama - LW: Best name ever. Unfortunately he's not a stand out talent.

Nikolas Koberstein - RD: Solid if unspectacular. Played it pretty safe and made some good reads.

Artturi Lehkonen - LW: Virus, didn't play.

Brett Lernout - RD: Lernout made one brutal turnover that resulted in a goal against, but all together I thought he was the best defenseman on the red team. He seemed to play the most minutes, was always involved, skated really well, hit hard when necessary, and moved the puck efficiently. I liked his game.

Mark MacMillan - C: This is the first time I've thought MacMillan stood out. He had some serious chemistry with Thomas and Holland, continually made things happen. His skating is actually pretty solid and his offensive instincts look good too.

David Makowski - RD: Didn't stand out.

Mike McCarron - RW: Looked way better than last time around. Skating and puckhandling is way improved, and his shot is harder, even if he takes a real long time to load it up. McCarron didn't look out of place with two extremely talented, fast youngsters, though he did fade as the game went on. Almost everyone is sour on McCarron right now, but I'll just say that his fate is not that of a bust, yet.

Brandon McNally - LW: Looked pretty good for an invite, but got poke checked quite a bit and couldn't seem to finish plays off.

C.J. Motte - G: Posted a shutout in his half of the game for Team White, making huge stops on de la Rose and Sekac on several occasions.

Vincent Muto - RD: Looked pretty good, jumped into the offense a ton. He was involved in a lot of his team's extended stretches in the offensive zone.

Jack Nevins - LW: You can see why Bergevin signed him. He fits nicely in that "character" mould in that he tries hard and looks like a grinder usually looks. Scored a pretty nice goal off of a turnover, and also tried to give someone a blatant head shot, but missed.

Pavel Padakin - RW: You can tell that there's skill there, but he didn't stand out much.

Jordan Papirny - G: Nothing really stood out. He wasn't bad, but didn't make any giant saves either.

Alexandre Ranger - RW: Didn't stand out.

Nikita Scherbak - RW: He didn't wait long to make an impact, setting up Charles Hudon for the first goal of the game about 15 seconds into his first shift. Scherbak was continually the guy breaking up plays in the defensive zone and carrying the play out of the zone. His transition game was excellent. He is surprisingly polished for his age, and you can tell he's going to be really good.

Matt Schmalz - RW: If the Habs sign him, I'll be pretty surprised. Seemed allergic to backchecking, kinda selfish with the puck. Pretty slick puckhandler, but if he's signed it's likely because he's a giant, not because he's good.

Jiri Sekac - RW: The offensive instincts on this guy are phenomenal. Constantly in the right place at the right time, and incredibly dangerous. He's not an offensive-only guy though, as he was backchecking in lock-step with de la Rose, and often started breakouts. Really interesting player that hopefully has as much of an impact when the pros come out to play.

Nick Sorkin - RW: He stood out in drills with a nice shot and a good stride, but seemed frustrated with the limited space and couldn't get much going for the scrimmage.

Michael Szmatula - LW: I had the pleasure of meeting Szmatula's parents in line for the scrimmage, and I have to say they were excellent people. I was rooting for him to score after meeting them, and I'm glad to say he did. The spritely forward was one of the only guys on Team Red not on the top line to generate some offense.

Christian Thomas - RW: It sounds weird to say it, but Christian Thomas scored a hat trick in the scrimmage and still managed to not stand out very much. He's more of a trigger man than anything, and I think he's going to need to find a way to diversify his game if he doesn't want to get leapfrogged by other young guns.

Dalton Thrower - RD: Still recovering from his surgery, didn't play.

Reggie Traccitto - RD: Didn't notice him.

Evan Wardley - RD: Also did not notice him, he may not have been playing.