The Montreal Juniors exploded offensively in the third period to defeat the Gatineau Olympiques in their first pre-season game.
The game was hosted in Greenfield park and arena was jam packed, holding more than 400 fans.
The Juniors dressed 8 regulars from last season's team, mainly depth players in forwards David Rose, Hugo Roux, Philippe Fontaine and Eliezer Sherbatov, defensemen Matt Provost, Jonathan Narbonne and Guillaume Belanger and goaltender Etienne Marcoux.
Rose played well. He earned two assist and hit the cross-bar one one of his trademark deflections in front of the net.
Sherbatov (seen in photo) was also noticeable out there. He scored a goal and added an assist and was involved in multiple scums after the whistle. He even dropped the gloves towards the end of the game with a much larger Samuel Normandeau who has 6 inches on Sherbatov. Much to the luck of one of these players, the refs broke up the fight before any punches were thrown.
Among the camp hopefuls trying to make the team, the following players stood out:
The first player the Juniors selected in this year's entry draft (3rd round pick) is still only 15 years old but it doesn't show. Although listed at 5'11" and only 160 lbs, Roy has gained over 5 pounds since the draft. Although a bit of a lightweight, Roy isn't afraid to go into the corners or in front of the net. He's a very impressive puck handler and seems to have strong hockey sense. Will he make this team as a 16 year old junior player? Probably not, but not by the fault of his own. The Juniors organizational depth may be the biggest thing working against this young gun.
Laflamme scored 2 goals and demonstrated his best asset throughout the game, his speed. Wearing number 26, Laflamme reminded me of Mathew Brenton. He's a 17 year old Junior player and is listed at 5'8", 170 lbs. He plays low to the ice and is explosive. For his 1st goal of the game he split the Gatineau defense with a burst of speed to earn a breakaway opportunity.
Clarke scored 2 goals and added an assist however, other than his first goal, I didn't get to see too much of him. His first goals was scored on a short handed breakaway where he pulled a nice deke on the Gatineau goaltender. Clarke is another 17 year old junior aged forward. He's listed at 6'1" 193 lbs.
There's been a lot of hype around Jr. Harris coming to play in Montreal after he played for the Villanova Knights in the OJHL last season, scoring over 20 goals and 200 PIMs. Harris is an 18 year old junior aged player who was expected to bring a scoring touch and physical play to the Juniors this season, perhaps earning a spot on the 3rd or 4th line. Harris played alright but didn't play with the intensity I was expecting to see. He didn't throw any big hits and was floating more often than driving the net. He rang the puck off the post in the third period and I'd consider that his only highlight.
All that to say, earlier today the QMJHL announce the following trade:
To the Montreal Juniors:
- a 5th round pick in 2011 (Baie Comeau)
- a 5th round pick in 2012 (Rouyn Noranda)
To the Rouyn Noranda Huskies:
- JR. Harris
This move means the Juniors still lack a physical player who can skate on either the 3rd or 4th line. I'll keep watching potential candidates throughout training camp to see if anyone emerges, but as of now nobody stands out.