Halak is an interesting case. He made the trip to the Habs training camp in the summer and looked good. He then looked solid through much of the WJC backstopping Slovakia, but let in a few softies against the Czechs. Overall he's an intriguing prospect for a late rounder and could become a player, but not in the short-term. I wouldn't expect to hear his name in relation to the Habs roster for a good 5 years.
Linhart's been a disappointment thus far. He struggled in North America in the OHL and failed to cut it on his junior club. He looked okay in the WJC for the Czechs and has apparently done okay back in the Czech Republic. From what I've seen though, he hasn't progressed a heck of a lot since his draft year. And considering he was fairly raw in his draft year, that isn't a good thing. Right now he's a suspect prospect and project. He'll need a lot of work to get himself out of the suspect category, and it will take a couple years I'd wager.
Beauchemin's the most NHL ready of the three by a wide margin. He's a stocky blueliner who advanced incredibly last season. Solid skating, thick body, who handles the transition game very well in the AHL.
For the NHL he's a little short and unspectacular, but he could develop into a fine #6 defenseman if paired with a larger physical presence.
From all indications he has a good attitude, capable of playing a gritty game, and has shown the necessary progression to eventually make the NHL. I don't think he has the skills or size to be an impact player though, and it's not certain that he won't max out as a high-end AHL player.
I was there too, at the Brebeuf arena. And he wasen't there due to problems with the Slovakian Hockey Federation. I might be wrong, I'll try to find some more info on that.
Wasn't that the beginning of the main camp?
I'm talking about the development camp, earlier on in August, at the Martin Lapointe arena. Korpikari was there as well, and he had to go back to Finland at the same time as Halak went back to Slovakia.
«Jaroslav Halak, G (2003, 9th round 271st) A no show at the Habs rookie camp due to team obligations, Halak has played very well in the Slovakia junior league. He’s second in the league in goals against, and has put up some very impressive numbers so far. Hopefully his good play will get him some ice time in the men’s league, and perhaps a invitation to the U-20 National Junior team. His .945 save % is tops in the junior league, and very impressive even though it’s against junior-aged players.»
I was talking about the rookie camp that was held in late August... I wasn't there at the Martin Lapointe arena, I believe it was in the the begining of July.. so I guess both of us were right.
Beauchemin I feel has a shot, but he'll have to outplay Bouillon at camp. I am a big Beauchemin fan, and not so big of a Bouillon fan (no pun meant) but I don't know if Beauchy can overtake Bouillon. I like his game, and he's clearly the top defensemen in Hamilton. Hopefully he gets a real chance with the Habs, as I feel he should get a look just hasn't yet (1 game is not a real chance) So I hope Beauchemin makes it, but I'm starting to have my doubts.
Halak I've only seen once and although I thought he played well he did let in a soft goal (which wasn't that bad, it was more of a bad bounce, I have the game on tape) but his numbers are very impressive in every league he's played in. With Theo and Garon both being a few years from turning 30, Halak will have to wait a few years. I'd love to see him brought over at some point down the road to see what he can do in Hamilton and go from there. He'll have to battle it out with Joni Puurula and Christopher Heino-Lindberg, but to me he's our top goalie prospect (since Garon isn't a prospect, as I am a very big fan of Garon's skills) so we'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Halak. Hopefully he gets to start in the mens league next year, or at least gets more playing time up there. And he should be the goalie for Team Slovakia at the WJC's next year. There's an outside chance Lindberg makes the Swedish team, which would be great to see them go head to head.
Linhart I don't feel was that bad in the OHL, as he was let go by London but it was a move to make room for another Euro prospect and they already had one of the better group of defensemen in the entire CHL. He's been able to play some games in the mens league which is great experience for him, as he nears 20 years old. I don't know what the future is for him, but hopefully he works his way into the mens league full time, and someday finds himself in the AHL within a few years.
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