MONTREAL - With headlines everywhere being dominated by the sweeping changes undergone by the Canadiens, a power forward in the making who stayed put is eager to take his next step to stardom.
Despite having played with a revolving door of linemates and having skated on everything from the No. 1 line to grinding on the fourth line, Guillaume Latendresse has put up some impressive numbers over his three years in the NHL. With an average of over 15 goals per season, Latendresse has made the most of his mere dozen or so minutes of ice-time per game.
|Head of the class |
|Latendresse is among highest goal producers among players drafted in 2005. |
| || ||GP ||Goals |
|Sidney Crosby || ||290 ||132 |
|Anze Kopitar || ||236 ||79 |
|Paul Stastny || ||193 ||63 |
|Guillaume Latendresse || ||209 ||46 |
|Devin Setoguchi || ||125 ||42 |
Thanks in part to his heavy facial hair growth, it’s at times easy to forget that the 6-foot-2, 225-pound man-child is only 22 years old. While any talk of his draft year is understandably dominated by Sidney Crosby, Latendresse more than holds his own among his peers in the Class of 2005. In fact, not only is he the highest scoring winger among the 230 players chosen that year, Latendresse is also sitting pretty overall. The Ste. Catherine, QC native sits behind only Crosby, the Kings’ Anze Kopitar, and Paul Stastny of the Avalanche in combined goals scored.
Latendresse’s game in his own end has also evolved over the years. Coming off the first positive plus-minus campaign of his young career, his plus-4 rating is an improvement his previous marks of minus-2 and minus-20. Able to play in almost all situations more than ever, Latendresse will have every opportunity to battle for ice time.
A year removed from shedding 20 pounds last summer and working as hard as ever during this offseason to get ready for another season, Latendresse is among the young players expected to climb his way up Jacques Martin’s depth chart in 2009-10. Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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