The Montreal Canadiens opened their training camp schedule on Sept. 11 when 55 players showed up for medicals. Happy to report that Alex Galchenyuk put on the most mass during the off season gaining 7 lbs over last season.
For a full list of the 55 players invited to the Canadiens Training camp, click here.
Here is my list of the 5 top players to watch for.
#1) Louis Leblanc, 6’0, 190 lbs, Centre: Leblanc was the Canadiens 1st pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Having already played 42 games in the NHL, Leblanc did not play 1 game in the NHL last season. He got off to a slow start with AHL Hamilton and then got injured and never got his groove back, This Training Camp, Leblanc needs to impress Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien as the team tries to evaluate him and determine if he’s NHL or AHL material.
#2) Christian Thomas, 5’09, 176 lbs, Right-Wing: Christian Thomas was acquired in the off season in a trade with the New York Rangers for Danny Kristo, Many say Thomas is ready to make the jump to the NHL. He it basically as raw as it gets having played only 1 game in the NHL. Should Brian Gionta start the season on Injured Reserve recovering from off-season bicep surgery, many are speculating that Thomas will start the season with the Canadiens playing wing on a line with Tomas Plekancec and Rene Bourque.
#3) Jarred Tinordi, 6.06, 215 lbs, Defence: Jarred Tinordi got his feet wet in the NHL late last season playing 8 regular season games and all 5 games in the playoffs. Having come in to take up Alexi Emelin’s spot on the roster last season, Tinordi has to prove to Habs management if he is higher on the depth chart than Francis Bouillon, Raphael Diaz, Davis Drewiske, or newly acquired Douglas Murray.
#4) Nathan Beaulieu, 6’02, 194 lbs, Defence: Nathan Beaulieu too was given an opportunity for a regular shift last season after Alexei Emelin went down with season ending injury, but only played 6 games and was then returned back to the AHL. This off season Beaulieu trained out of the Habs’ Brossard practice facility, and he is challenging Tinordi for that last spot on the blue line. With the Canadiens most likely carrying two extra defenseman to start the season, Beaulieu is on the bubble. And after the first scrimmage this trainign camp, Beaulieu hurt his shoulder and was placed on IR. He’s now on the outside looking in, almost surely starting the season in Hamilton.
#5 Joonas Nattinen, 6’03, 192 lbs, Centre. Joonas Nattinen was drafted back in the 2009 draft. Having played in Sweden these past 4 seasons, Nattinen has seen late season North American action albeit briefly, for Hamilton, these past two seasons. But he’s ready to make the transition to North America for the duration of a season? Many eyes will be watching.
Below is a schedule of the Canadiens Training Camp and the Pre-Season Schedule.
Medicals and Physical Testing
Practice, Group A 10 – 10:45 am
Game A vs B 11 – 11:50 am
Conditioning, Group A 12 – 12:30 pm
Practice, Group B 12:15 – 12:50 pm
Conditioning, Group B 1:30 – 2 pm
Practice, Group B 10 – 10:45 am
Game A vs B 11 – 11:50 am
Conditioning, Group B 12 – 12:30 pm
Practice, Group A 12:15 – 12:50 pm
Conditioning, Group A 1 – 1:30 pm
Practice, extra players 10 – 11 a.m.
Game Team Red vs Team White (Bell Centre) 1 p.m.
September 15: Start of Pre-Season Schedule:
SEPT. 15, 2013 Sabres at Canadiens; 7:00pm Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 16, 2013 Bruins at Canadiens 7:00PM Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 20, 2013 Canadiens at Hurricanes 7:30PM Pepsi Colisee Quebec City
SEPT. 21, 2013 Hurricanes at Canadiens 7:00PM Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 23, 2013 Devils at Canadiens 7:30PM Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 25, 2013 Canadiens at Senators 7:30PMCanadian Tire Centre Ottawa
SEPT. 26, 2013 Senators at Canadiens 7:30PM Bell Centre Montreal