It’s not unusual for blueliners to spend several seasons in the minor leagues before they settle in at the NHL level. For 26-year-old Frederic St. Denis, the journey to the NHL went through the Canadian University program as well as the East Coast Hockey League road. He still has a lot to prove in Hamilton but is on the right track.
The Greenfield Park, Quebec native co-led the AHL‘s Hamilton Bulldogs defense corps in scoring during the 2011-12 season with 28 points in 58 games. He was also the lone Bulldogs representative at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic in Atlantic City.
A future in Montreal?
In the summer of 2011, Saint-Denis signed a one-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens and got his first taste of NHL action later that year. St. Denis did not look out of place. He showed a lot of poise and finished the year with three points in 17 games.
Could he steal a spot next season in the show? It’s too early to tell. I think St. Denis is the type of player that organizations need to have as a number seven/eight defenseman. He’s definitely the kind of depth player who can fill in when the team is beset by injuries. Unfortunately for St. Denis, the Habs are still lacking a physical presence on the blueline that he does not address.
Saint-Denis isn’t going to be a physical force or a real offensive threat in the NHL but can certainly fill in for anybody and do a reasonable job when the coach calls his number.