Rabid Habs

Habs Prospects: Sekac, Andrighetto & de la Rose

Habs' Jacob de la Rose

As NHL teams gear up for the start of training camp in a few weeks, there’s little question around the Montreal Canadiens. GM Marc Bergevin addressed his teams needs this off season, he traded Josh Gorges & Daniel Briere, one for cap space/pick & the other for P.A. Parenteau and a pick. He also brought in faceoff wizard Manny Malhotra, RHD Tom Gilbert and highly touted 22 year old Jiri Sekac out of the KHL. Bergevin also let go of ex-Captain Brian Gionta which opened up a hole on the right side, but with that hole comes opportunity.

Bergevin hasn’t added someone like Dustin Penner to fill the void on the right side. Instead he will likely be letting three really talented youngsters fight for the open right wing spot in training camp. Jiri Sekac is believed to be the front runner, but the 22 year old said himself that if he does go to Hamilton, he will work his way back up and not pack his bags to head back to the KHL. Jacob de la Rose coming out of the SHL last season playing against older men did well there last year, he’s a big kid that could likely use a year down in Hamilton to adjust to the North American game & ice. Last but not least is diminutive forward Sven Andrighetto. Don’t let the kid’s size fool you, he’s a beast on the puck and really competitive. Nonetheless, he is very talented. Any of these kids could make a good replacement for Gionta’s vacated wing spot.

Jiri Sekac: The 22 year old, 6’2″, 195lbs Kladno native was a standout in the KHL last season. According to Bob MacKenzie of TSN, Sekac was being perused by more then 12 teams. Sekac has reportedly looked great at the Octagon Hockey camp this past week. Eric Engels was raving about him on Twitter. Tomas Plekanec compared Sekac to Max Pacioretty which is really bold considering Pacioretty scored 39 goals this past season. If Sekac turns out to be something like Pacioretty, Habs fans would be really happy. Sekac also dominated the Canadiens’ development camp last month, although it was against youngsters. Sekac really stood out every time he was on the ice. He has a rocket of a shot but what is really impressive is his puck protection along the boards, he would be a perfect forechecking partner for Lars Eller.

Jacob de la Rose: JDLR will be making the jump over to North America for the upcoming year to play for either the Canadiens or Bulldogs. He spent last year in the SHL playing for Leksands where he scored 13 points in 49 games. de la Rose will probably need a little bit of time to adjust to the North American game which could prevent him from making the Canadiens roster right out of camp. He’s a very tough kid to knock off the puck with good vision and is great defensively. He would be a welcomed addition to the Canadiens as the third line right winger however I see him starting out in Hamilton.

Sven Andrighetto: The Canadiens used a 3rd round draft selection in 2013 on Andrighetto who was passed over twice before in the draft. That looks to be a steal of a pick. Andrighetto is similar to Mike Cammalleri – soft hands, wicked shot, good passing skills, great vision, great speed, a high work rate and compete level. Andrighetto scored 44 points in 64 games on a bad Hamilton team last year, Andrighetto was arguably the Bulldogs best forward on the ice night in and night out. If Andrighetto was to play in the NHL over Sekac & JDLR, it would seem he would be more inclined to play in a top 6 offensive role. Potentially with Galchenyuk-Plekanec, otherwise it would seem that he would be the first call up from Hamilton in case of injuries in Montreal.

Which one of the three do you think will be the one to impress most and crack the 2014-15 Montreal Canadiens roster?

Article by Christopher Hatzitolios