The Memorial Cup is a trophy that is won by the best of the best every year. The champions of every CHL league, the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL all compete to see who the best team in the CHL is. The round robin portion of the tournament is already underway, each team having already played 2 games. The 2012 Memorial Cup is being hosted in Shawinigan, Quebec.
The Montreal Canadiens are very well represented at the tournament, having drafted 4 players currently in the Memorial Cup. The host team Shawinigan, has 2 Habs on their roster that have helped them to get to 1st in the standings after 2 games. Morgan Ellis and Michael Bournival both the dawn the Cataractes jersey. Morgan Ellis is coming off a career year that saw him post career highs in goals, assists, and points. He was also arguably outperforming Shawinigan’s star defenseman, Brandon Gormley. Morgan Ellis won the Kevin Lowe Award this season, an award given to the best defensive defenseman. He was drafted 117th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Ellis signed an Entry Level contract with the Canadiens, and will play in Hamilton or Montreal next season. Michael Bournival, the other Hab on the Cataractes, also took big strides of improvement on his way to the Memorial cup. He set career highs for goals, and improved his +/- stat. Not to mention he played for Team Canada at this year’s World Championships.
The OHL’s Champion, the London Knights, also have a Canadiens prospect on their team. Jarred Tinordi, who has emerged as his team’s captain. Tinordi set career highs in points, goals and assists despite playing for Team USA in the World Championships, where he may have been the best defenseman on USA’s blueline. Tinordi also was an incredible +39 in the 2011-2012 season. Tinordi has shutdown opposing teams top lines all season, and all playoffs to guide his team to the coveted Memorial Cup.
The Saint John Seadogs are the defending Memorial Cup Champions, and they have the 4th and final Habs prospect in the Memorial Cup. The terrific offensive defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has helped the already loaded Seadogs to reach the QMJHL Championship, and now the Memorial Cup for the 2nd straight year Beaulieu is trying to help his team reach the finals again, and hopefully win. Beaulieu also had a career year in 2011-2012, and he too made Team Canada as a powerplay quarterback and offensive, rushing defenseman.
The final team in the Memorial Cup, The Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, have no Habs prospects what so ever on their roster, but they too hope for a Memorial Cup in the distant future. The Memorial Cup Finals could be interesting, as it may come down to Habs versus Habs, and soon to be AHL teammates.