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Allan McShane is working hard to take the next step

The Canadiens prospect heads to rookie camp ahead of his fourth OHL season.

Shanna Martin

Allan McShane often gets forgotten in the long list of Montreal Canadiens prospects. It’s not even about guys like Ryan Poehling and Nick Suzuki, either. Ten prospects were taken higher by the Canadiens than McShane’s 97th overall over the last two drafts.

He isn’t a player that should be forgotten, either. The Oshawa General scored 34 goals and added 35 assists in 64 games last season, and if you ask him he’ll say he could have had more.

“Hockey’s funny that way,” McShane said. “Sometimes things are going your way, sometimes they’re not . We had a new coach and I think it was a bit of a learning curve trying to understand what he’s expecting of me. Once we got on the same level with, with what he wanted for me and the type of game that I play, I think I really took off and I know the Christmas break gave me a little bit of time to kind of reboot, recover, and then I came back strong.”

Greg Walters replaced Bob Jones and will be entering his second year as head coach of the team.

On top of having a point per game pace in the regular season, he had five goals and nine assists in 15 OHL playoff games.

McShane was invited to Canada’s World Junior summer roster for the Summer Showcase where he played two games and did not record a point. Before going to Plymouth, McShane stayed in Montreal to train after development camp to train with Canadiens staff to work on getting stronger and faster. He’s back in town for Rookie camp that begins with a practice Thursday afternoon.

“You know, it’s renowned, it's the Montreal Canadiens,” McShane said. “There’s a brand there. So we all respect that. We all understand what that means. And I think it’s no fluke that we’re here for a reason. They chose us because I think they think we will represent the organization certain way.”

In his second year at the camp, he also sees an opportunity to be a leader which is something he’ll be expected to do in his fourth OHL season.

“It’s a good opportunity to be a leader for the younger guys,” he said. “Everyone’s a really, really good person here. And they’re here for a reason, right? It’s nice to meet all the other people that have worked their whole lives to get to this point and share the experience with them.”

After practices on Thursday and Friday, the Canadiens rookies will take on the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets rookie teams on Saturday and Sunday in Belleville, Ontario. They return home for a game on Tuesday morning against a team of University All Stars. NHL training camp opens on September 12.