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Making the cut

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – Before the big camp gets underway on Friday, there are 31 young, excited prospects looking to make their mark at the Bell Sports Complex this week.

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Like a fine wine: Despite logging veteran minutes for the Habs during the team’s deep playoff run this spring, P.K. Subban’s goals for the rookie camp are the same as everyone else’s: earn an invite to the main camp. Attempting to crack a lineup that already includes six veteran NHLers won’t be easy, and the 21-year-old blue-liner isn’t about to take anything for granted.  

“Coming in to training camp, obviously everyone has to come in here and earn their keep. It doesn’t matter what happened last year – it’s over,” emphasized Subban, who finished a plus-2 with eight points in 14 playoff games this spring. “Every year, the organization tries to put a Stanley Cup team on the ice and that’s the goal. Everybody wants to play in the NHL and that’s my goal for sure, but I don’t control that. All I control is what I do on the ice and how I carry myself off the ice and what I do in the gym.”

In the spotlight: Meeting the Montreal media and facing dozens of reporters and cameras for the first time since being traded to the Habs for Jaroslav Halak this summer, Lars Eller realized that he’s not in St. Louis anymore. And he can’t wait to call Montreal “home” for good.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m really proud about being here and being a Hab and I can’t wait to get started,” offered the 21-year-old Dane. “It’s going to be a difference from what I was used to before, but it’s something that comes with playing here in Montreal. I’m going to have my focus on the ice because that’s my ballpark. There are no guarantees, especially coming in as a rookie. You have to earn it and I know that. I’m going to go play my game and see where I end up.”

Student of the game:
The decision to leave Harvard University after just one year wasn’t an easy one for Kirkland native Louis Leblanc to make, but the 19-year-old knows it was the best move he could have made. After already piling up five points in two games with the Montreal Junior, Leblanc’s next goals probably aren’t far behind.

“I’m here to make the team like any player here. I understand there are a lot of players and a lot factors that go into making a team but I’m here to prove that I’ll be knocking on the door shortly and that I can play at this level,” described Leblanc, who is currently continuing his studies at McGill University in the Faculty of Management this year. “We’ll see what happens here at this camp, but I’m aiming to have a good season with the Junior this year and make the World Junior team and have an impact at that tournament. But right now, I’m just focusing on my next practice here at camp.”

On the shelf: Three Habs prospects are on the mend for the time being, including Joonas Nattinen (achilles tendon), John Westin (broken arm) and Mark MacMillan (broken wrist).

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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31 players to take part in the Canadiens rookie camp
The pieces are in place 
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