Nice article about Price in the Gazette
Price is right for Habs
Goalie forecast to be a star in future
Friday, July 14, 2006
He had a losing record playing for a mediocre junior hockey team, but so did Patrick Roy as a teenager with Granby.
For that matter, Carey Price failed to stick with Canada's national junior team last year, when many had him projected as the team's starter.
But Canadiens goaltending coach Roland Melanson hasn't changed his assessment of Price, Montreal's first-round (fifth overall) draft choice in 2005.
"Down the road, Montreal is going to be spoiled by his goaltending," Melanson said this week, during the team's week-long development camp at Lachine's Martin Lapointe Arena. "He has a big body and does a lot of things well. He has lots of natural ability.
"We'll bring him along the right way. It might not be for another two or three years, but when he has the chance to put his foot in the door, he'll be ready."
When a team selects a goalie that early in the draft, it believes in his future and expects him to be its starter. So it is with Price, who turns 19 next month.
At 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds, the Vancouver native takes up a lot of the net. Price makes the job look easy. Big, strong and agile, he did his best to carry his Tri-City junior team that isn't very competitive.
In 147 career games with the Americans, Price's record is only 53-65-17. But his goals-against average is 2.56 and he has a save percentage of .905. Almost incredibly, he has produced 12 shutouts.
Price has a quick glove hand and great anticipation. His calm and collected demeanour has scouts predicting he can be a big-time No. 1 goalie down the line.
Price attended last year's development camp and got into two exhibition games with Montreal prospects against Atlanta and Toronto. In 59 minutes, he faced 30 shots and allowed two goals for a 2.03 average and .933 save percentage. He was credited with the win against the Thrashers.
He said it wasn't easy returning to junior although there never was any question of him remaining with the Canadiens.
"You're on such a high for such a long time. Then you go back to junior, where you've been for two years," said Price, who still hasn't signed an NHL contract but has one year remaining to come to terms. "It's good to see everybody, but it's a lot different in junior.
"Here, it's the NHL. It's what you dream about. Junior ... you've been there and played there. It's not the NHL."
Price said he's trying to incorporate little things into his game he's worked on with Melanson, such as working on his knees and making saves from that position. He's again expected to head to the national junior team training camp in December with aspirations of starting for that club.
When Melanson sees the prospect this summer, he notices how Price has matured in 12 months.
"He's gone through a camp. He knows how tough it is, that it's no picnic and it demands hard work," the assistant coach said. "Preparation is so important. It keeps you in the flow and injury free.
"Making the junior team would be a stepping-stone for him. He plays for a .500 team in junior and has to fight for his wins. With Canada, key saves at key moments can sling-shot you to the medal round. We want what's best for Carey Price and we'll respect (the national junior team's) decision. We want him to gain from his experience and take it to the next level."
This is the same piece that was in the National Post yesterday, but I couldn't find it online. It's good to hear high praise for Carey.
Thanks for the good read!!! :handclap:
If it all pans out, looks like we'll have a great goalie on our hands.
Melanson had some good things to say about him for sure. Sounds like he really liked his stint in the NHL and was a bit down when he went back to Junior I just hope he's not like Hainsey and gets pissed everytime he's sent down and won't work in the lower ranks.
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