Habs' prospect Gabriel Dumont. Photo from Journal L'Express
Since hockey fever ran rampant in Montreal this season I'm pretty sure this is the Habs' way of spreading themselves out so that we don't have too much withdrawal. A "pre-development" development camp of sorts (in that it obviously won't include the players of this year's draft, lest Trevor Timmins have some mind-altering time-warping abilities we don't know about) starts this Tuesday, June 1st, and runs until Saturday, June 5th. I commissioned myself to this blog post because I happen to have seen a hell of a lot of 5 of the 22 players in the last few years, rookie seasons, President/Calder/Memorial Cup runs and all.
Drummondville-bragging aside, last year's first-rounder Louis Leblanc is sure to be a headline again, especially now that his chances of making his QMJHL debut this season are something that Chicoutimi Sagueneens head-coach and GM Richard Martel has a firm belief in. The rest of those attending camp, divided into forwards-dmen-netminders are as follows:
Tryout Marc-Antoine Desnoyers was the Voltigeurs' (and almost the league's) standout on defense this past year. The 20 year old wasn't gun-shy either, registering 54 points, plus the franchise's first-ever playoff hat trick against Rimouski. However, it was his +47 rating that made him most valuable.
Ex-Rimouski captain Olivier Fortier missed most of the year due to injury, but managed to show off his abilities in the few playoff games he played in with Hamilton. He registered his first professional goal in a 3-2 win against Abbotsford in the Western Conference semi-final, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Dany Massé's season was a lot like Fortier's, coming off injuries faced in the President and Memorial Cup runs of 2008-09. For a player that was often scratched and put on fourth-line duty, he managed to register a shot for every game he played and stay on the plus side defensively.
Free-agent signing Philippe Lefebvre, who may or may not be a Montreal Junior as of next season, proved why he should have been drafted. The Trois-Rivières native racked up close to 30 goals with Drummondville despite only being relied on as second-tier offense.
Last year's 5th-rounder Gabriel Dumont probably doesn't need to be elaborated on for my poor Twitter followers. But for those who don't share that misfortune, picture your typical energy guy.....on speed. He can be the smallest guy on the ice, but if the other team's fridge of a tough guy happens to be in one of his teammates' faces, guess where Dumont is headed. He'll play through anything and everything, as his broken hand this year and myriad of other injuries last year can tell you, and, as a bonus, he can lead the league in scoring (51 goals, 2009-10). This season, in addition to his somewhat surprising stats, he received the Guy Carbonneau Trophy for defensive forward of the year (which, by the way, Fortier had won two years prior).
So I went on a ramble on that last one. Sorry. Let's just be happy Sean Couturier is only draftable in 2011, otherwise we'll just be here all day.