Monday, July 27, 2015

30 Teams in 30 Days - Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens have a lot to be excited about in their minimal OHL player pool.

1. Michael McCarron - Oshawa Generals
What a difference a year makes. Honestly, McCarron couldn't have transformed himself any more than he did in 2014/2015. Two years ago, I, like many, were disappointed with the big American forward's play. There honestly weren't many redeeming qualities to his game (turnover prone, soft for his size, undisciplined, etc). This year, he was a difference maker on a Memorial Cup Championship team. The offensive numbers dipped upon the trade to Oshawa, but that doesn't mean that his play dropped off. If anything, his play on both London and Oshawa was great for him. In London he was able to establish himself as an offensive force, a guy who can drive the net, or finish off plays in close. With his size and hands in front, he was nearly impossible for OHL defenders to tie up. His shot also proved to be a massive weapon and it's strength profiles him more as a goal scorer at the next level than people give him credit for. In Oshawa, he was asked to play a shutdown role where he had to kill penalties, take important face-offs, and put pressure on the top lines of the opposition. His tale of two seasons showcases how well rounded of a player he has become. As he moves on to the professional level next year, I honestly wouldn't be shocked to see McCarron in the NHL at some point. If his development goes according to plan, he's the type of guy who could make a difference in the NHL playoffs come May 2016. I won't make any predictions on his offensive output, because it's impossible to pin point what type of role he'll be playing. But I do expect him to find success and establish himself as a top flight prospect.

2. Jeremiah Addison - Ottawa 67's
Addison had a very quietly effective season, finishing strong with a terrific playoff performance. He plays a lot bigger than his size (~6'0) and is a true power forward. He excels when driving the net, with and without the puck, and is slowly learning how to read defences to get himself good scoring chances. As a complimentary offensive player, he was very valuable to Ottawa. He can also kill penalties and is a strong presence at both ends of the ice. As a complete player, he was a great add by Montreal in the late rounds of 2015. Next year, Ottawa should be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and Addison will continue to play a scoring line role (with Konecny or Salituro). He should also see power play time. I could see him having a very good season and a 30/30 year is a great possibility.

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