The Toast of Quebec

Dobber Sports

2008-01-11

 Kostitsyn

 

Let me start off this week by saying that I have never been a fan of the Montreal Canadiens. I now have a healthy respect for the Canadiens scouting staff and management for stocking what is a pretty good-looking mix of experience and youth. There are many fantasy worthy players that are just starting to scratch the surface of their prodigious talents.

Everyone knows what Saku Koivu brings to the table and Alexei Kovalev is playing more like the old Kovalev than the version we saw last season. Roman Hamrlik is providing a veteran presence on the blue line as expected and has contributed offensively as well. Cristobal Huet is giving the team steady, if not spectacular, goaltending game in and game out.

Montreal has only had three top ten picks since 1996, but they are all important pieces in the team’s immediate future:

In 2001, Montreal made defenseman Mike Komisarek the seventh overall pick. He managed to score 30 points in 56 AHL games in 2002-03, but if you’re seeking offence, look in another direction. Komisarek is gold though if you need blocked shots, hits and a helping of penalty minutes. He leads the league in blocked shots and is in the top five in hits.

Left Winger Andrei Kostitsyn was taken tenth overall in 2003. He’s averaged a point per game over his last 16 games.  In those 16 games, Kostitsyn was held pointless in only three contests and had point streaks of five, four and three games. Only 22 years of age, this guy is only going to get better. He is on pace for 50 points, but all signs point to a great second half and a shot at breaking 60 points.

Montreal surprised many pundits by taking goalie Carey Price fifth overall in the 2005 entry draft. His rise has been phenomenal, from CHL’s Goaltender of the Year to World Junior MVP and Top Goalie to winning the AHL’s Calder Cup and Playoff MVP as a rookie. This season, the 20 year old rookie has performed very well in the NHL, but he’s still learning his way around. There isn’t a better fantasy goalie prospect to own.

The 1998 entry draft was a very good one for Montreal’s scouting staff. It yielded Mike Ribeiro (Dal), Francois Beauchemin (Ana), Michael Ryder and a sixth round gem from Russia.

It’s hard to believe that 161 names were called before Andrei Markov’s. He is sixth in defenseman scoring and tied for tops in goals with eleven. Not only does Markov lead the team in overall ice ti