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NHL prospect Michael Hage on his love of the Habs and making his dad proud

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The Montreal Canadiens' annual development camp is now underway and on Wednesday, the young prospects hit the ice.

Among them was a player with deep ties to Montreal.

Michael Hage is the star attraction at this year's development camp.

"I mean, to look down and see that logo, it's really special," he said Wednesday.

The Montreal Canadiens selected Hage 21st overall at the NHL Draft last Friday.

The 6'1" centre says he's thought about his dad ever since his name was announced.

"I mean, I think I told my mom that, you know, this would be a dream come true here and I mean, just hearing my name called … I can't imagine what he'd be thinking right now," he said.

Hage's dad died in a swimming pool accident one year ago. He used the tragedy as motivation in his last season with the USHL Chicago Steel.

He racked up 51 points in his final 30 games.

Both of the 18-year-old's parents are from Montreal but he grew up in Mississauga, Ont., cheering on the Habs in enemy territory.

Michael Hage, center, poses after being selected by the Montreal Canadiens during the first round of the NHL hockey draft Friday, June 28, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus, The Associated Press)

Hage says he has fond memories of watching the team with his dad.

"Just really fun moments in my house, you know, jumping around with my brother and my dad and just enjoying watching the Habs," he said.

Hage hit the ice donning number 88. He normally wears number 9 but that number has been retired, forever belonging to Habs legend Maurice Richard.

"My dad was a huge Maurice Richard fan. So that's why I first wore it in minor hockey," he said.

Hage says his favourite modern-era Canadiens include Max Pacioretty and Carey Price — players that practiced at the same facility he's at now.

"It's a dream for me and I'm now trying to just step back and understand that it's the reality," he said.

Hage will spend the rest of the summer training for his first year at the University of Michigan.

He hopes to make an impact there and on Montreal's management team while trying to make his late dad proud.

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