Habs notebook: rookie camp, day 3
|Jason Missiaen and Max Pacioretty|
One-way ticket – Denver to Hamilton: Max Pacioretty isn’t the only Canadiens prospect to have cut his college hockey career short in favor of going pro. After a stellar start to the season at the University of Denver, forward Brock Trotter signed with the Habs and joined the Hamilton Bulldogs last February.
“My dream has always been to be a professional hockey player and the Canadiens showed me they believed in me,” said the 21-year-old center, who spent two and a half years in American university circuit. “A number of teams were interested but nothing came of it. I’m happy in Hamilton; the coaches are doing a great job, my game is improving and I feel stronger.”
Pavel vs. Anton: He has yet to hit the ice for his first NHL game and already defenseman Pavel Valentenko is drawing comparisons to Ottawa Senators rearguard Anton Volchenkov. Armed with an excellent slap shot and the ability to deliver solid shoulder checks, Valentenko welcomes the association.
“It’s true that I play a very defensive and aggressive style, like he does,” noted Valentenko, who picked up 16 points in 57 games with the Bulldogs in 2007-08. “I know him pretty well, actually. I practiced with him last year in Ottawa and he told me not to be nervous, just to go out there and play my game.”
Missaien’s mission: Goaltender Jason Missiaen, the Canadiens’ fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft, doesn’t exactly hide in the shadows at 6-foot-8. With a pair of young netminders currently guarding the Canadiens’ crease, Missiaen knows he will have to wait a bit for his turn.
“I’m not thinking about that right now,” said the Peterborough Petes’ backstop. “I’m just going to focus on my development, which is the most important. I’ve been working with Rollie (Roland Melanson) here at the camp and I’m enjoying every minute of it. He’s a great teacher and has so much experience.”
Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com
Habs notebook: rookie camp
Rookie camp, day 1
Rookie camp, day 2