The Habs prospect that I'm most intrigued by this coming season is a player most people have either probably already written off or don't even know.
Obviously bigger name players like Alex Galchenyuk, Blake Geoffrion, Michael Bournival, Danny Kristo, Jared Tinordi, Nathan Beauieu and Dalton Thrower all deserve recognition, I can't help but look in another, less certain direction.
Mike Cichy (C)
Western Michigan Broncos
5'11, 187 lbsDrafted 199th overall in 2009
I'm sure you're wondering why I'm so interested in following a 7th round pick but the reason has more to do with the journalistic side of me than anything else; always a sucker for The Story.
I first saw Mike Cichy play during the 2008 World Junior A Challenge in Camrose. Cichy was a member of the USHL all-star team representing the United States. Not only did his team win the tournament but Cichy was named as the Most Valuable Player after scoring 5 goals, 10 points in 5 games.
|Photo: USHL Images|
Montreal drafted him late and I know after speaking casually one day with head scout Trevor Timmins, they thought then that Cichy had the potential to be a real steal.
The Connecticut product was committed to North Dakota where he would play with fellow Habs prospect Danny Kristo. But after two years with the Fighting Sioux, Cichy left the program to move to Western Michigan.
|Photo: Matt Clemetson|
Unfortunately for Cichy, Blashill spent just one very successful year at WMU before joining the Detroit Red Wings organization. That had to have been a blow to Cichy.
However, Blashill was replaced by highly respected coach Andy Murray and although he didn't play with the team last year (had to red shirt for all of 2011-12), Cichy should be a major component of the Broncos.
So the intrigue is obvious; a highly offensive player prior to his 2-years at UND, can Cichy rediscover that side of his game after not playing last season? Will he indeed get the bigger role at WMU that he envisioned after leaving North Dakota? Will playing his junior and senior years as a Bronco get him back on track?
If the answer to those questions is 'yes', then Montreal really could have a big steal. That's why, for me, Mike Cichy should be considered "One to Watch" for 2012-13.