Habs Prospects Representing Canada From Coast To Coast

Noah Juulsen (Photo by Everett Silvertips)
Noah Juulsen (Photo by Everett Silvertips)

by Matt Smith, Staff Writer/Social Media Specialist, All Habs Hockey Magazine

The official team rosters for the 2016 CIBC Canada/Russia Series have been announced. Included on those rosters are five Montreal Canadiens prospects representing the Canadian Hockey League and one representing the Russian National Junior Team.

2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – (Team WHL) Monday November 7 at Prince George, BC
Game 2 – (Team WHL) Tuesday November 8 at Edmonton, AB
Game 3 – (Team OHL) Thursday November 10 at North Bay, ON
Game 4 – (Team OHL) Monday November 14 at Hamilton, ON
Game 5 – (Team QMJHL) Tuesday November 15 at Chicoutimi, QC
Game 6 – (Team QMJHL) Thursday November 17 at Baie-Comeau, QC

The official rosters can be viewed at this link: http://chlcanadarussia.ca/

The following prospects will be representing their respective league.

Noah Juulsen (Everett Silvertips – Team WHL)

Selected in the 1st round, 26th overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Juulsen was named captain of the Everett Silvertips for the 2016-2017 season. A solid two-way defender, Juulsen presently has four goals and six assists in nine games on a Silvertips team that sits 1st in their division, and 3rd overall in the Western Hockey League. It’s a good sign after his point production declined from 52 points during his draft season to 28 points last season.

Victor Mete (London Knights – Team OHL)

Selected in the 4th round, 100th overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Mete claimed the Memorial Cup last season as a member of the London Knights. Last season he scored eight goals and added 30 assists, finishing just four points behind linemate and 5th overall selection Olli Juolevi. Mete’s principal strengths are his skating ability and offensive instincts and that has unquestionably been on display this season, scoring five goals, adding seven assists in 11 games making him a very deserving member of the Team OHL defence.

Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack – Team OHL)

Signed as an undrafted free agent to an entry level contract by the Montreal Canadiens (2015-16 to 2017-18), McNiven is currently 6-2-0 with Owen Sound this season, with a 2.21 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. It’s worth noting that Owen Sound has just seven wins this season, six of them can be attributed to McNiven. He will join Evan Cormier November 14th as the Team OHL goaltenders that evening.

William Bitten (Hamilton Bulldogs – Team OHL)

Selected in the 3rd round, 70th overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Bitten has finally been traded from the Flint Firebirds to the Hamilton Bulldogs, and has looked comfortable on his new team scoring two goals, adding five assists in nine games. Last season playing for an extremely dysfunctional team, Bitten was able to score 30 goals, adding 35 assists. He also represented Team Canada at the under 18 tournament, scoring three goals, adding five assists in seven games. A player that is strong in all three zones, Bitten has already been compared to Brendan Gallagher, as a Habs fan, that certainly makes me happy!

Simon Bourque (Rimouski Océanic – Team QMJHL)

Selected in the 6th round, 177th overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Océanic captain led his team with 32 points on the man-advantage last season, and was 4th among QMJHL defenders. This season, Bourque is once again putting up strong numbers with one goal and 12 assists in 12 games.

Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires/Montreal Canadiens – Team Russia)

Sergachev was questionably the best all-round defenceman selected during the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Selected in the 1st round, 9th overall by the Montreal Canadiens, Sergachev was named the Ontario Hockey League Top Defenceman, scoring 17 goals, adding 40 assists in 67 games. Sergachev fascinated Habs management during rookie camp, he did the same during the pre-season, and is still presently travelling with the Canadiens, even though he has been a healthy scratch multiple times. In my opinion it is just a matter of time that we will see Sergachev returned to the Windsor Spitfires, who will be hosting the 2017 Memorial Cup. So far with the Habs this season, Sergachev has played three games, being held pointless, averaging only 10:26 per game. Playing just over 10 minutes per game, does it make sense for the Canadiens to hold onto Sergachev, or allow him to play top minutes in junior?

The CIBC Canada/Russia Series kicks off November 7th in Prince George, British Columbia, be sure to tune in and cheer on your Canadiens prospects!