20 year old defenseman Francis Meilleur (seen in photo) - acquired from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles as part of the Pierre-Antoine Dion trade.
19 year old centerman and Montreal Canadiens draft pick Louis Leblanc - acquired from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens as part of the Guillaume Asselin deal.
19 year old left winger and also property of the Montreal Canadiens Philippe Lefebvre - acquired as part of the Jake Allen transaction.
Here is the second of three Q&As - this time with newly acquired forward / Montreal Canadiens prospect Louis Leblanc:
Hockey Points: Louis, you made the decision to play for the Montreal Juniors in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. What are you most excited about?
Louis Leblanc: “Mainly playing in my hometown, playing in Montreal. We’re going to have an excellent team with an excellent coaching staff. I’m very excited about the overall package the Montreal Juniors were able to bring to me and bring to this city for the upcoming season.”
Hockey Points: What do you expect will be the biggest change for you as you play in the QMJHL vs. playing in the NCAA?
Louis Leblanc: “The biggest difference in going to be the amount of games I’ll play. I’ll play over 68 games here. Another thing is I’ll be one of the older guys in the league this year. Last year I was the young guy at college and obviously college guys are older. Now I’ll be one of the older guys in this league so I’m excited to see the difference.”
Hockey Points: Montreal coach Pascal Vincent is a well known coach in this league. Talk about the expectations you have to play for him.
Louis Leblanc: “I’m hoping he helps me improve my game that helps to bring me to the next level, the NHL. I know he has helped produce a few NHL players and he’s been in the league long enough to know what it takes. I’m hoping he leads us to be a winning team on the ice and, personally helps me become a better hockey player.”
Hockey Points: Have you had a chance to meet any of your new teammates? Have you played with any of them before?
Louis Leblanc: “Maybe 4 or 5 guys. I know Charles-Olivier Roussel. I’ve played with Eliezer Sherbatov back in the day. I know Philippe Lefebvre as well. So I know a few of the guys and am looking forward to meeting the rest of the group and get the season started.”
Hockey Points: Do you envision having any chemistry with any specific player?
Louis Leblanc: “Maybe a guy like Roussel. I play with him in summer hockey and we’re pretty close friends. I’m excited to play with him on this team and hopefully we can score some goals together. Hopefully we’ll be on the same power play unit and we’ll have the best power play in the league.”
Hockey Points: How would you describe your game to the fans?
Louis Leblanc: “I want to be a two-way player and bring intensity to the team. I want to score some goals and always be the hardest working guy out there. I like to make things happen offensively and also play well defensively.”
Hockey Points: What’s the most valuable skill in your game?
Louis Leblanc: “My speed. I think I’m a pretty fast skater going up and down the ice. So yeah, definitely my speed.”
Hockey Points: You just returned from St. John’s Newfoundland where you attended Team Canada’s Junior National Team summer evaluation camp. Talk a bit about your experience?
Louis Leblanc: “It was a great experience. It was my second camp. I felt a lot more comfortable out there because I knew what to expect from the coaches and the overall schedule. The top 44 U20 players were there and it was nice to be a part of that.”
Hockey Points: Playing for the Montreal Canadiens would be a dream come true for many young hockey players growing up in Montreal. How does it feel to have an opportunity to realize this dream?
Louis Leblanc: “Well I grew up playing hockey like most kids…to have fun. You never expect to one day get drafted. Now the sport has become a possibility to be my career. It’s nice. Everything really is a dream come true. It would be an honour and I’d be very lucky to be able to play hockey for a living.”
Last season Louis Leblanc attended Harvard University and played for their hockey team, the Harvard Crimson. In 31 games Leblanc scored 11 goals, 12 assists for 23 points and added 50 PIMS. Leblanc was selected 18th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2009 NHL entry draft. Leblanc is part of Team Canada's National Development program and hopes to represent Canada at the 2011 IIHF WJHC this December and January.