Finally, across the city, we can feel the nervousness and febrility of everybody. All the talk and chat are centered in only one subject : The Canadians.
The passionate optimistist, the everyday pessimist, the young newbies, the seasoned veteran or the expert...everybody and their mama agree on one thing : They can't wait until it really starts!
So, let's start with the first movements of the season, the training camp.
With 62 players listed to participate (33 forwards, 22 defenceman and 7 goalies) and so few spots available, it will surely be an amazing training camp full of deceptions and suprises.
We have some good prospect within our farmclub of hamilton and also in the junior leagues scarthered across north-america and europe, so i'm sure that we will have lots of suprises. Here are my list of players to watch in this training camp :
Carey Price :
Well, duh...you can't ignore this big time prospect. I think pretty much everything has been said about Price and i won't add more, but the battle between him, Halak, Huet and probably Danis will be very interresting. One thing for sure for Price is that he will be the number 1 goalie next year. The question is just where? Hamilton or Montreal?
Matt D'Agostini :
Honnestly, i started hearing about this prospect during the last AHL playoff. I dont know much about him, but from what i've heared and read, he is a very good scorer. He scored 4 goals in the prospect match this week and left a very good impression, climbing a couple rank for sure in the coaches evaluation. I dont think he will start in MTL, but he might be the first one called up when injuries will strike.
Sergei Kostitsyn :
The younger brother of Andrei. A very good forward and playmaker. People say he is a more complete and better player than his brother(although lacking his shot). If this is the case, he might be very close to get a spot this year. I'm already dreaming of a line with the brothers on wings with Mikhaill Grabovski as their center...what a trio it could be!
Mikhail Grabovski :
Called late in the season last year, he left a very good impression to the habs fans in general. He is a speedy forward that can make nice passes and score. From what i remember, he isnt afraid of the traffic, which would be very good for us.
Ryan O'Byrne :
Huge in bulk, heavy and with punishing hit...Ryan O'Byrne is very close from ready if he aint yet. He could probably steal the 6th defenceman spot away from Dandenault and Streit.
Kyle Chipchura :
What is amazing me from this prospect is his leadership. He is also cautious in both end. He will never be a great scorer in the NHL, maybe landing 10 goals a year and with maybe one or two seasons of 20, but he will be a great leader and excellent agaisnt the best player of the league. He is probably one of the favorite of Gainey and Carbonneau since his style is close from the one they used during their carreer.
I think it is pretty much the list of prospect that we should look at for now. Their is more prospect that have a real chance of making it : JP Côté, Duncan Milroy, Jonathan Ferland, and so on. And their is maybe one or two prospect that no one talks about that will impress a lot of people. For example, look at Ryder. The guy played in the eastcoast league most of the time after being draft by MTL in the 9th round of 98 draft. But then, out of nowhere, he grabbed a spot on the second line...the rest is history.
But i cant wait until it start and see what`s going to happen!