MONTREAL – Making the jump from Junior to pro hockey can be one of the biggest leaps of a young hockey players’ career. Mix that with missing the first 44 games of the season with your new team and it would likely seem like the Grand Canyon of jumps.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case for Drummondville Voltigeurs star Dany Masse, who suited up for his third career AHL game with the Bulldogs on Wednesday night.
Joining his new team on the road, the 21-year-old winger still hasn’t had a chance to put his skills on display in front of his home crowd just yet.
Masse has been waiting patiently in the wings to make his professional hockey debut, and wasted no time making his presence felt in his inaugural performance. Finding his way onto the scoresheet just 7:06 into his first game against Rochester, Masse notched his first AHL assist on Brock Trotter’s first period goal. The Bulldogs’ night also ended with a convincing 6-1 win over the Americans, who are head to head with Guy Boucher’s squad in the race for first overall in the East.
Last season, under the same watchful eyes of Boucher, then still with Drummondville, Masse piled up 44 goals and 110 points in 68 games to finish second in QMJHL scoring.
Masse kept right on rolling through the postseason, racking up an additional 35 points in only 19 games to help lead the Voltigeurs to a Quebec league title and a Memorial Cup berth.
After suffering a knee injury late in the QMJHL Finals, Masse was forced to sit out both the Canadiens development camp and training camp, with the talented winger being sidelined for a total of three months following knee surgery.
One brand new knee and a half-year of rehab later, Masse is now busy making up for lost time – much to the delight of his coach, the Bulldogs and the Montreal-based NHL team that signed him last spring. Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis.See alsoHabs this week – Jan. 25, 2010 Vote for the Play of the WeekHabs recall Maxwell, assign D'Agostini to Hamilton Canadiens assign Max Pacioretty to the Hamilton Bulldogs Two to grow on