Habs Training Camp: Cuts & Invites

Photo: Canadiens Twitter

Photo: Canadiens Twitter

The Habs Rookie Camp came to a close with the final scrimmage between Team Red and Team White. The end of camp itself meant the end of the road for some of these players that were in attendance. Montreal had to make a number of decisions regarding these young men and whether or not they did enough to get an invite to the bigger camp that begins on the 18th. The Habs brass made 13 cuts to trim down the amount of players who will be at training camp. We will look at who was cut, who was invited to the next stage as well as try-outs and provide a bit of insight from fellow AATH writer, Mitch Brown.

The Cuts

1. Charles-David Beaudoin (Defenseman/Drummondville – QMJHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Charles-David posted 14 goals and 22 assists in 54 games.

2. Gianluca Curcuruto (Defenseman/Plymouth – OHL) – Drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 7th round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Gianluca had 7 goals and 21 assists in 57 games.

3. Philippe Gadoury (Centre/Halifax – QMJHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Philippe registered 20 goals and 6 assists in 19 games. However, he did play for the Nepean Raiders (CCHL) as well, where he had 25 goals and 30 assists in 42 games.

4. Alexandre Goulet (Centre/Charlottetown – QMJHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Alexandre tallied 26 goals and 22 assists in 66 games.

5. Matthew Highmore (Centre/Saint John – QMJHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013, 14 season, Matthew put up 19 goals and 31 assists in 68 games.

6. Tyler Hill (LW/Ottawa – OHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Tyler had 10 goals and 15 assists in 67 games.

7. Bokondji Imama (LW/Baie-Comeau – QMJHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Bokondji notched 7 goals and 8 assists in 59 games.

8. Jordan Papirny (Goaltender/Brandon – WHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Jordan registered a GAA of 3.28 and a .900 save percentage over the course of 46 games.

9. Matt Schmalz (Centre/Sudbury – OHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Matt tallied 3 goals and 5 assists in 66 games.

The Habs released four of their own prospects following camp:

Daniel Audette at the Draft (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

Daniel Audette at the Draft (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

1. Daniel Audette (Centre/Sherbrooke – QMJHL) – Drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Daniel had 21 goals and 55 assists in 68 games.

2. Hayden Hawkey (Goaltender/Omaha – USHL) – Drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Hayden put up a GAA of 1.99 and a .926 save percentage over the course of 33 games.

3. Nikolas Koberstein (Defenseman/Sioux Falls – USHL) – Drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Nikolas racked up 5 goals and 13 assists in 51 games with the Olds Grizzlys (AJHL).

4. Brett Lernout (Defenseman/Swift Current – WHL) – Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Brett tallied 8 goals and 14 assists in 72 games.

The Invited

1. Justin Baker (Defenseman/St. Lawrence – NCAA) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Justin had 9 goals and 24 assists in 38 games.

2. Francis Bouillon (Defenseman/Montreal – NHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Francis put up 2 goals and 4 assists in 52 games.

3. Drayson Bowman (LW/Carolina – NHL)) – Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 3rd round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Drayson notched 4 goals and 8 assists in 70 games.

4. Riley Brace (RW/Iowa – AHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Riley split time between four different teams (two in AHL, two in ECHL). Between them all, Brace had 14 points in 61 games.

5. Joël Chouinard (Defenseman/Hamilton Bulldogs – AHL) – Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 6th round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2013-14 season, Joël tallied 2 goals and 7 assists in 67 games.

6. Tanner Eberle (LW/Moose Jaw – WHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Tanner registered 22 goals and 29 assists in 70 games.

7. Sahir Gill (Centre/Wheeling – ECHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Sahir put up 13 goals and 41 assists in 67 games.

8. Stefano Momesso (RW/Smiths Falls – CCHL) – Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Stefano had 26 goals and 46 assists in 62 games.

9. Nick Sorkin (LW/Hamilton – AHL). Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Nick had 20 goals and 21 assists for the University of New Hampshire. He joined the Bulldogs afterwards, scoring one goal in 9 games.

10. Evan Wardley (Defenseman/Seattle – WHL). Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Evan racked up one goal and 8 assists in 61 games.

11. Zach Yuen (Defenseman/Orlando – ECHL). Went undrafted. In the 2013-14 season, Zach had one goal and 11 assists in 48 games.

*The rest of those from rookie camp who were invited are already within the Habs Organization.

The Insight from Mitch Brown

Of the 13, there were really only two surprises: Daniel Audette and Charles-David Beaudoin. Beaudoin, an invitee, was consistently one of the best players out there, so it comes as a surprise that he was cut.

Three of the more prominent invitees–Alexandre Goulet, Matthew Highmore, and Tyler Hill–were among the cuts. Goulet and Highmore weren’t particularly good, but both appear primed for big seasons with their respective clubs. In Hill’s case, he showed quite a bit more in camp than he has in the OHL up until this point. All three had flashes of some skill, but certainly didn’t do enough to stick around.

Bokondji Imama, Matt Schmalz, and Evan Wardley all attended development camp after the draft. Clearly the Habs brass has their eyes on them and they performed well, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them back at future camps with Evan getting a further look now.

Hayden Hawkey in Brossard (Marie-France Coallier/The Gazette)

Hayden Hawkey in Brossard (Marie-France Coallier/The Gazette)

Along with Audette, 2014 draft picks Hayden Hawkey, Nikolas Koberstein, and Brett Lernout were among the cuts. Hawkey performed quite well, but there’s not enough room in the crease for him to stick around for main camp.

Even though Riley Brace, Justin Baker, Sahir Gill, and Zach Yuen didn’t show much, they all made main camp. Which really isn’t surprising because all four are older players and/or have professional experience. Gill is already on Wheeling, but the other three could very well play in the organization this season if they show well.

The two big surprises among the players at main camp are invitees Tanner Eberle and Stefano Momesso, but for different reasons. Eberle performed well at last year’s rookie camp, but didn’t survive the cuts. This year, he kept up the strong play, showed notable progression, especially skating-wise, and made it. He brings lots of energy to the rink and took a tremendous step forward in terms of skill last season.

Momesso sticking around doesn’t really make sense. He was invisible and played in the CCHL last season. There’s not much upside there. If it weren’t for his last name, I doubt he would be there.

It is also worth mentioning that junior-aged invitees typically don’t stick around, so that would explain why all of the cuts were returned to junior. Professional players can help the organization immediately, so they typically get more looks.

The Habs training camp begins on Thursday, the 18th and will kick-off their preseason against the Bruins on Tuesday, the 23rd.

 

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