By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
When Cincinnati Cyclones coach Chuck Weber was informed by the Montreal Canadiens at the start of the season that he would be receiving rookie center David Desharnais, the immediate thought was strictly about his offense.
But the 21-year-old has provided much more for the top team in the North Division.
Not only does the 5-foot-6 Desharnais lead the ECHL in scoring with 78 points (20 goals, 58 assists) in 53 games, but his defensive prowess had guided him to a remarkable plus-32 rating. His play helped the Cyclones win a league-record 17 consecutive games, a stretch that finally came to an end in Stockton on March 1.
“He’s a kid that we thought could come in and produce offensively,” Weber said. “But what’s really impressed me is his attention to detail, both offensively and defensively. He’s improved so much this year with the defensive side of things. He’s a kid that whoever you put with him becomes a better hockey player.”
Desharnais told NHL.com that he had a sitdown with Weber prior to the start of the season. It was during that meeting when the Cyclones coach informed the Canadiens’ prospect that his main goal for the 2007-08 campaign should be to improve his defensive game.