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De La Rose, Hudon among Canadiens' top 5 prospects

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL (NHL.com) -- Here is a look at the Canadiens' top five prospects, according to NHL.com.

1. Jacob De La Rose, C

How acquired: 2nd round (No. 34), 2013 NHL Draft

Last season: Canadiens: 33 GP, 4-2-6; Hamilton, AHL: 37 GP, 6-5-11

It is not easy to earn the trust of Canadiens coach Michel Therrien as a young player, and that's what made De La Rose's ascension so remarkable last season. The then-19-year-old was called up to the Canadiens on Feb. 2 after center Lars Eller was injured; De La Rose did not play another game with Hamilton of the American Hockey League.

De La Rose does not have a very high offensive ceiling, but at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, he plays a solid two-way game, and Therrien was not afraid to use him in late-game situations to protect a lead. De La Rose played in 33 regular-season games and 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games after his promotion, at center and wing, and he was on the ice more than 10 minutes in all but two of those 45 games.

The one thing that might prevent De La Rose from making the Canadiens roster out of training camp is that he does not require waivers to be sent down to the AHL.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16

2. Charles Hudon, C/LW

How acquired: 5th round (No. 122), 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Hamilton, AHL: 75 GP, 19-38-57

Hudon could become the latest fifth-round gem for Canadiens director of amateur scouting Trevor Timmins, following in the footsteps of another undersized player who dropped to the fifth round in 2010, Brendan Gallagher.

Hudon, 21, makes up for his slight build (5-foot-10, 191) with work ethic and smarts, excelling at both ends of the ice. His defensive abilities were known before he turned pro last season, but Hudon was surprisingly productive in the AHL, finishing second in rookie scoring after a blazing start to the season had him leading the league in December. Hudon did this while adjusting to a position switch to center, making him a more versatile prospect.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

3. Greg Pateryn, D

How acquired: Trade with Toronto Maple Leafs on July 3, 2008

Last season: Canadiens: 17 GP, 0-0-0; Hamilton, AHL: 53 GP, 3-12-15

Pateryn turned 25 on June 20. It has taken some time, but he appears poised to make the jump to the NHL this season.

Pateryn (6-foot-2, 222 pounds) plays a sound, rugged game in his end and could be considered a stay-at-home defenseman, though he has shown offensive ability in the AHL. It could be argued Pateryn has leapfrogged 2010 first-round pick Jarred Tinordi on the organizational depth chart.

Pateryn, who was selected in the fifth round (No. 128) of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Maple Leafs, would require waivers to be sent back to the AHL this season, making him a virtual lock to be on the NHL roster on opening night.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16

4. Daniel Carr, LW

How acquired: Signed as a free agent April 24, 2014

Last season: Hamilton, AHL: 76 GP, 24-15-39

Carr, 23, led AHL rookies and Hamilton in goals last season after the Canadiens signed him out of Union College. Playing on a line with Hudon, Carr was rewarded for his willingness and tenacious approach in getting to the scoring areas on the ice. The offensive abilities of the 6-foot, 193-pound left wing would be a welcome addition for the Canadiens, but he likely is a year away from contributing in the NHL.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

5. Nikita Scherbak, RW

How acquired: 1st round (No. 26), 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: Everett, WHL: 65 GP, 27-55-82

Scherbak, 19, is the type of offensive talent the Canadiens need. He arrived at their development camp in July at 6-foot-2, 204 pounds, 2 inches taller and 32 pounds heavier than he was a year earlier. A long, rangy player with good puck skills, Scherbak will likely need a year of seasoning in St. John's but could be ready to push for a roster spot next season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2017-18

Author: Arpon Basu | Managing Editor LNH.com

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