MONTREAL - Nick Suzuki (Guelph Storm), Joël Teasdale (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) and Cole Fonstad (Prince Albert Raiders) will all be competing in the 2019 Memorial Cup.
Suzuki and the Storm caused plenty of surprises during the CHL playoffs. Guelph overcame a 3-0 series deficit to the London Knights, a 3-1 series deficit to the Saginaw Spirit, and a 2-0 series deficit to the Ottawa 67's in the OHL Final. In doing so, George Burnett's group bested the League's top three teams during the regular season.
For his part, Suzuki was key to his club's success. The former first-round pick, who was selected 13th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, led the CHL with 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists) in just 24 games. He also claimed the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as the OHL's playoff MVP.
The Canadiens also have another prospect in the Storm's fold. Centerman Cam Hillis, who was selected 66th overall by the Habs in 2018, has played just two postseason games due to injury. He won't be suiting up in the Memorial Cup after undergoing surgery on his collarbone.
We recently met up with Hillis in Ottawa where the Enniskillen, ON native spoke about just how tough it was to watch his teammates from the sidelines night after night.
"It's difficult. It was a frustrating season for me when it comes to injuries," stressed Hillis. "On the other hand, I'm happy to see the team have success. The guys deserve it. They faced a lot of adversity this season. They showed a lot of character and I'm really proud of them."
Hillis appeared in 33 games during the regular season, amassing 10 goals and 22 points.
Teasdale and the Huskies were dominant throughout the QMJHL playoffs. Mario Pouliot's squad only lost four postseason games. Rouyn-Noranda also finished first in the CHL standings during the regular season with a record of 59-8-0-1.
The Lavaltrie native was a top performer for the Huskies. He finished the playoffs with 14 goals and 34 points in 20 games. He also ranked second in scoring in the CHL playoffs just behind Suzuki.
The Canadiens agreed to terms with Teasdale on a three-year, entry-level contract (2018-19 to 2020-21) on September 21.
While he was never drafted by an NHL team, Teasdale was invited to participate in the Canadiens' training camp last September.
Fonstad and the Raiders didn't have an easy time in the WHL Final. Prince Albert finally eliminated the Vancouver Giants in seven games courtesy of an overtime winner by Dante Hannoun. But, the Raiders were a force in the CHL ranks this season. Marc Habscheid's contingent finished the regular season in second spot with a record of 54-10-2-2.
For his part, Fonstad amassed two goals and six points in 21 games. The Estevan, SK native also missed two games due to injury.
Fonstad was selected in the fifth round, 128th overall by the Canadiens in 2018.
The Memorial Cup begins on Friday at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Fonstad will be the first Habs prospect in action when the Raiders battle the Mooseheads to open the tournament. See the complete schedule below.