And then there were two.
After icing depleted lineups for the past few weeks, only two members of the Saint John Sea Dogs active roster remain at National Hockey League training camps – Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau and Montreal Canadiens draft choice Nathan Beaulieu.
Both are having impressive training camps and are getting plenty of playing time in pre-season games.
Beaulieu played for the Habs last night in a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. He led all Montreal skaters in ice time with a total of 22 minutes and 54 seconds. He was a -1 in the contest.
According to the Canadiens website, his 9:04 minutes of ice time in the first period was the most of any player on either team.
Beaulieu, along with former Sea Dogs netminder Robert Mayer, will be in the Canadiens lineup tonight when they take on the Boston Bruins at the Halifax Metro Centre. Game time is 7pm AST.
Huberdeau meanwhile skated in a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. The third overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft was held pointless and recorded two shots in his 15 minutes and 28 seconds on the ice.
“I can't say enough good things about him,” writes John Beatty of The Litter Box Cats about Huberdeau following last night’s game. “Whether he makes the team this year or next, he's going to be huge for the Panthers.”
The Panthers play the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
Most seem to be expecting them both back in Saint John at some point. Because of their age, they can play in either the NHL or the CHL this season - the AHL is not an option.
If you missed it yesterday, SN's Cameron MacEachern had a great piece on which QMJHL players could get a taste of the NHL this year.
Stephen MacAulay and Ryan Tesink (both St. Louis), Danick Gauthier (Phoenix), Mathieu Corbeil (Columbus), Stanislav Galiev (Washington), Tomas Jurco (Detroit), Scott Oke (Dallas), Pierre Durepos (Los Angeles), Ian Saab (Vancouver) and Zack Phillips (Minnesota) all took part either an NHL rookie or training camp but have since returned to Saint John.
Photo Credit: ESPN