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Rookie camp - Day 1

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD -- In today’s notebook: Berger sets the bar high, Leblanc at home with the pros and Beaulieu plays Sponge Bob.

The shepherd and his sheep: When it comes to the Swiss file, the Canadiens know the case very well. Acquired as a free agent on April 8, 2011, Alain Berger is the latest Swiss prospect to make his way to the Canadiens' dressing room and the 21-year-old winger has a few fellow countrymen to look up to when it comes to the Habs' Helvetian pedigree.

“[Yannick Weber and Mark Streit] are two solid role models for me. Looking at the path they took here, you see that everything has to do with hard work and determination. That’s how I plan to do it, too,” said the 6-foot-4 giant who found the back of the net twice for his team in the first rookie scrimmage. “It was a really good game for me, but there's still a lot to improve on. Now we’re just waiting for this day to end so we can start all over tomorrow.”

At home with the pros: Louis Leblanc didn’t have to move his gear very far to participate in the Canadiens’ rookie camp after spending his summer training and rehabbing his shoulder at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.

“I don’t know if I have an advantage but I know that I’m not behind. For now, nothing is set. I hope I’ll be ready for the preseason games,” mentioned Leblanc, who participated in all of the activities except the scrimmage at the end of the day. “My goal is to play professional hockey this year. Right now, I’m concentrating on my shoulder and on getting ready for my first season with the pros”.

So fresh and so clean: Drafted 17th overall by the Canadiens in June, Nathan Beaulieu threw his Canadiens’ jersey on for a second time on Monday after previously participating in the team's development camp earlier this summer. It wasn't exactly deja-vu for the first-time pro.

“It’s my first professional camp and my first taste of pro hockey. I’m really excited and really happy to be able to play with such a talented group,” expressed the young defenseman, who received some tips before arriving at camp. “Being here as a recruit, I need to relax and absorb as much information as I can. It’s only going to happen once. You need to be a sponge, talk to the pros, and not be shy.”

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Lee Anne Vincent O'Connor.

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