Three Habs named to Canada-Russia Series

In preparation for the 2015 Canadian Hockey League Canada-Russia Series, the rosters on the Canadian side have been set. The annual tournament was first held in 2003, and every year since. A team of Russian selects travel to Canada to take on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) All-Stars, Ontario Hockey League (OHL) All-Stars, and Western Hockey League (WHL) All-Stars – twice each, in eight different cities.

Historically, the Canadian Junior A teams have fared well. By the end of 2014, the OHL holds a 20-3-1 record vs. Russian selects, the WHL second best with a 16-6-2 record, and the QMJHL holding a 13-8-3 record. The Russian selects come to Canada for the 13th consecutive year looking to improve on a 23-48-1 record.

The host cities this year are:

Nov. 9th: WHL vs. Russia – Kelowna, B.C.

Nov. 10th: WHL vs. Russia – Kamloops, B.C.

Nov. 12th: OHL vs. Russia – Owen Sound, ON

Nov. 16th OHL vs. Russia – Windsor, ON

Nov. 17th: QMJHL vs. Russia – Rouyn-Noranda, QC

Nov. 19th: QMJHL vs. Russia – Halifax, NS

The Montreal Canadiens are lucky to have three prospects representing Canada in the series. These Habs prospects include Noah Juulsen – who is on the roster for both WHL games, Michael McNiven – who is the only OHL goaltender to be on the roster for both games, and Daniel Audette for the QMJHL.

 

juulsen

Photo: NHL.com

Noah Juulsen
Position: Defence
Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6’2” / 185
Team: Everett Silvertips
Drafted: 2015 NHL Draft (MTL) – 1ST Round (26th Overall)

Juulsen, the most recent first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, is the lone Habs prospect named to the Western Hockey League All-Star roster. The Abbotsford, B.C. native is unique to the team as he is the only right-shot defender on the squad as Hicketts, Fleury, Guhle, Clague, and Sanheim all have a left-shot. In 6 games played this season, Juulsen has recorded 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points. The blue liner leads the team in points (5), and penalty minutes (10) despite only playing in 6 of the Silvertips’ 8 games thus far. Noah was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Habs at 26th overall, who at the time, was a teammate of 2014 Habs’ first round pick Nikita Scherbak. The All-Star team consists of 16 NHL draftees, 3 players that are 2016 NHL draft eligible, and a single player that is 2017 NHL draft eligible.

 

Photo: OHL Network

Photo: OHL Network

Michael McNiven
Position: Goaltender
Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6’1” / 215
Team: Owen Sound Attack
Drafted: Undrafted

After going undrafted in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Habs signed Michael McNiven as a free agent to an Entry Level Contract with a few years of OHL eligibility remaining. In his draft year, McNiven did not see starting goalie minutes, but he has earned that spot this year. McNiven has improved his statistics to 2.32GAA (7th in OHL), .927% (5th in OHL), and a 7-3-2 with a single shutout in the strongest division in the Ontario Hockey League. The OHL has set up two different rosters, one to play in Owen Sound and the other in Windsor with few players playing in both. McNiven is the only goaltender playing in both, sharing the net with Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts / Devils prospect) in Owen Sound, and Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes / 2016 Draft Eligible) in Windsor.

 

Photo: NHL.com

Photo: NHL.com

Daniel Audette
Position: Centre
Age: 19
Height/Weight: 5’9’ / 175
Team: Sherbrooke Phoenix
Drafted: 2014 NHL Draft (MTL) – 5th Round (147th Overall)

Audette is a fifth round pick by the Habs who many believe could possibly have been a mid-late draft steal who fell due to his small size. Prior to the NHL, Audette was the 1st overall pick in the 2012 QMJHL draft over other popular names such as Alexis Pepin (2nd Overall), and household name Jack Eichel (15th Overall) to Halifax but chose the NCAA route. Over the course of Audette’s junior career, he has earned 1.03 points per game, including 25 points in 14 games this season. Audette was a sure choice for the QMJHL All-Stars as he is tied for 6th in the league in points as well as leading his team in points per game. The QMJHL All-Star team consists of 18 NHL draftees, 4 draft eligible players for 2016 and an undrafted forward.

You can find out more about the 2015 Canada-Russia series by clicking any link below:

Official Website
WHL Roster
OHL Rosters
QMJHL Roster
Team Russia Roster
Tickets
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