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Man on a mission

Charles Hudon made a statement with three assists in the Red vs. White scrimmage on Sunday

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - When Charles Hudon arrived at the Canadiens' annual golf tournament last week, he made it clear he wants to spend the year with the big club in Montreal.

And just in case some people had forgotten, the Canadiens' fifth-round (122nd overall) pick in 2012 reiterated his stance on Sunday, although this time, he didn't use his words to make his point.

Hudon took part in the Habs' Red vs. White Intrasquad Scrimmage at the Bell Centre and emerged as one of the standouts, registering three assists, including a pair of beautiful feeds to Tomas Plekanec that both ended up in the net. It's safe to say that the afternoon outing was "mission: accomplished" for the Alma native.

"Like I said at the golf tournament, I came here chomping at the bit," explained Hudon, who scored 27 goals and added 22 assists in 56 games with the Saint John's IceCaps last season. "We've gotten to the third day of training camp and I feel comfortable with Plekanec and [Artturi] Lehkonen. I just have to keep working hard.

"I feel good. I have to work hard when I'm with those two guys, they're two NHLers. My goal is to be in the NHL, so I have to work as hard as them," he went on. "Today went well. We found each other pretty much wherever we were on the ice. Some days are just like that. But I'm already beyond thinking about today, I'm focusing on tomorrow."

Video: Hudon on his productive intrasquad scrimmage

The 23-year-old Hudon wasn't the only player on the Bell Centre ice with something to prove. Eric Gelinas, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman invited to Canadiens camp on a tryout, will be taking advantage of every opportunity he gets over the coming days to prove he should stick around.

"I don't have any room to maneuver," described the Vanier, ON native, who suited up for 27 tilts with the Colorado Avalanche last season. "I can't afford to take my foot off the gas. I'm going to approach all the exhibition games that way."

Video: Gelinas on what he brings to the table

Gelinas may have been kept off the scoresheet, but he came away pleased with his performance in front of nearly 16,000 fans in his first appearance in home colors at the Bell Centre.

"It went well today. It was the first time I got to play a real game since the end of the season. I tried to keep my feet moving all the time, to pass the puck well and to be physical at the right moments," continued Gelinas, the Devils' second-round pick (54th overall) in 2009. "I had a bit of bad luck because I was the one who deflected the puck in our own net. In general, it went well."

Video: Drouin on his first appearance at the Bell Centre

Speaking of firsts, the afternoon event was the first official chance for fans at the Bell Centre to get a look at star forward Jonathan Drouin in Montreal attire. The Habs' new No. 92 was also held pointless, but enjoyed his day at the office nonetheless.

"It was cool, the intrasquad scrimmages aren't like that in Tampa Bay. The fact that the arena was as full as it was for a scrimmage just shows how passionate our fans are," praised Drouin. "All the new players really liked it."

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