A new beginning is on the horizon for general manager Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens who opened training camp with a win against the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre on Monday, however, they did so with the loss of Max Domi in the third and final period after he sucker-punched Aaron Ekblad, resulting in a two-game suspension for the remainder of the preseason.
Furthermore, the NHL’s annual rookie tournament also took place at Place Bell in Laval just a week and half beforehand where many GM’s from around the league got the chance to see their all-star’s play against one another on the big stage.
To this point, several of those men are still with their respective organizations where they continue to impress their head coaches, fans and teammates with all the skill that they have in store.
Moving onwards to Friday morning after two preseason competitions, it became enough for the Habs organization to make a decision for their future at the National Hockey League level.
With that in mind, the club announced just a short time prior to noon that they had signed defensemen Josh Brook to a three-year, entry-level contract that will take him through to the conclusion of the 2020-2021 regular season.
Brook, who is a native of Roblin, Manitoba, was drafted by the Canadiens in the second round (56th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft which took place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Prior to being selected to begin his first NHL venture, the Canadian spent three seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League where he has collectively scored a total of goals to go alongside assists, making for points recorded in a total of games played.
It is likely that upon the conclusion of training camp at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec that the 19-year-old will re-join the Warriors for his last season of junior hockey before joining the Canadiens organization and on a full-time basis where he will likely end up with with Joel Bouchard and the Rocket in Laval.
Taking a look at Brook’s performance for the 2017-18 season, the NHL hopeful scored three goals to go alongside 29 assists, making for 32 points registered in a total of 45 games played. He also adds a plus-48 differential to his resume for the season.
As noted by Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca, not only does Montreal Canadiens prospect Josh Brook have the attributes to become a quality NHL player, he also has the maturity of an NHLer amongst a list of other traits which he shows in full fashion to members of the media as well as the Canadiens front office brass and executives, a core value in which he will look to keep locked into place if his hope is to make Montreal his long-term home while doing so for the foreseeable future.
While many have their eye on Jesperi Kotkaniemi to steal the show at camp, don’t forget about guys such as Josh Brook who are constantly exceeding expectations early on in what is likely to be their first of many opportunities to showcase their skill and talent.
In other news, the Canadiens also signed forward Joël Teasdale to a two-year, entry-level contract on Thursday morning, another individual who is up with the club for training camp and like Brook, Kotkaniemi, Jake Evans and many more, he could definitely make his case to prove his worthy throughout the month.
In a statement from Joel Bouchard during the rookie showcase against the Ottawa Senators in Laval, he said of Brook, “I like that he took charge with the puck. He’s coming back from an injury. He hasn’t played a lot the last few months, so that’s something that we have to take into consideration.”
Bouchard was named head coach of the Rocket back on Thursday May 17th and will be the first to get a look at the future of the Canadiens with Brook, Michael McNiven and many more on his active roster this coming season.
Elaborating to a further extent on the latest regarding Brook’s injury, Engels noted that Brook had been sidelined for nearly three months post-surgery before he returned and collected 16 points in his first 15 games with the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors. He would later go on to finish out the season with 32 points registered in 45 games played, while he added just six points in a total of 14 playoff games played.
Brook’s injury occurred during the 2016-17 season after he had taken an awkward bump to his right wrist in his first game at last year’s Rookie Showcase. He has since struggled to recuperate with the injury nagging him up until July of this year. With that in mind, it forced him to miss Canadiens development camp in late June as well.
In a statement from Brook in talking about the injury, he told the local media, “I had the surgery done [on Sept. 22, 2017] and I guess I might have come back too early and not done enough to keep it getting better. I think it affected my play a lot last year. I didn’t feel like I was as strong on the puck, just lifting sticks and things. I feel like I had a lot more to give last year, but I didn’t have it; I didn’t have the strength.”
Brook will look to have another strong season at the Western Hockey League level to close out his four-year tenure before officially starting his journey towards the National Hockey League.