Of the 22 prospects in town for the Canadiens Development Camp being held at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard this week, many are getting their first taste of life as a Hab.
Getting schooled: Only 12 months removed from being drafted in the first round by the Canadiens last summer, forward Louis Leblanc is already one of the headliners at this year's camp. Coming off his first season at Harvard, the 19-year-old is planning to be back on campus in the fall, but that won’t stop the sophomore from keeping his options open.
"I want to be a hockey player and I have to develop to get there. I'm planning to take the best road to play for the Canadiens one day," said Leblanc. "You just need to look at a guy like Dominic Moore who did his four years at Harvard and was an important player for the Canadiens this year."
Speed kills: Having made the jump to the pros with the Bulldogs late this season, QMJHL star Gabriel Dumont learned first-hand that the transition to the AHL isn't always an easy one.
"On my very first shift, Garth Murray bowled me over and hit me so hard it knocked my helmet clear off. That's when I realized how much faster the game is at that level," admitted Dumont of his rude pro awakening with the Bulldogs that saw him go on to suit up for 11 playoff games in Hamilton this spring.
Almost there: Even though they've yet to ever suit up for the Habs, many of these hungry youngsters are hoping to change that soon. Chief among those knocking on the door is 2010 World Junior gold medalist Danny Kristo, who was inspired by the Canadiens’ recent playoff run.
"I watched all of the games and saw the great run they had. It's too bad it had to end, but it was great for the city and the organization," said the Habs’ top pick at the 2008 Draft. "It was cool to see younger guys get their chance, too. Seeing P.K. Subban help the team and play such huge minutes was great. Hopefully I'll be able to help the team that way soon, too."
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Manny Almela.
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