Habs prospect Florian Xhekaj is a physical and scoring force for the Bulldogs

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this hot before, but it’s good. “I’m getting good rebounds and everything I shoot seems to go in.”

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It’s a well-known fact that Brantford Bulldogs forward Florian

Xhekaj, the younger brother of the Canadiens’ Arber He recently has a pregame routine in which he first crashes through the civic center glass during warmups.

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That superstition coincided with the start of his points streak.

“I did it in a game without even thinking about it,” Xhekaj said.

“I banged my back once while waiting for (Cole) Brown to pass the puck. “I scored that game and thought about the next one and thought I might as well do it again.”

Starting with a goal against Guelph on Feb. 9, Xhekaj has 12 goals and seven assists in his last 11 games.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this hot before, but it’s good,” the 19-year-old Hamilton native said. “I’m getting good rebounds and everything I shoot seems to go in.”

For the season, Xhekaj now has 31 goals and 25 assists. Scoring his 30th goal on Friday against Saginaw was a highlight.

“It felt really good,” he said.

“To tie the game, they’re a really good team and it was a big goal for the team, so I was happy.”

After scoring 13 goals and 12 assists in 68 games with the Bulldogs a year ago, Xhekaj was selected in the fourth round (101st overall) by Montreal.

The two Xhekaj brothers faced each other in the preseason during training camp in Montreal.

“That was great,” Floirian said of facing Arber, who as a 23-year-old defenseman has three goals and five assists in 30 games with the Canadiens this season.

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“It was awesome to see both of us in that sweater and hopefully one day we’ll wear it and play together. I hope one day we can make the dream come true.”

Both Xhekajes are known for their physical prowess, as Arber had 101 penalty minutes last season with Montreal, while Florian had 76 penalty minutes during his rookie season with the Bulldogs.

But Florian, who stands six-foot-four and weighs 190 pounds, always knew there was more to his game than crushing blows and now he’s proving it to everyone.

“I think I’ve always been a skilled player, now I have confidence and playing with different players this year and having more opportunities on the power play, that helped me a lot,” he said.

“The work I did was enormous.”

Xhekaj is among the team leaders with 56 points (fourth), 31 goals (tied for first), 25 assists (fifth), eight power play assists (fourth), six game-winning goals (first on the team and tied for eighth place). OHL), four sure goals (first), 68 penalty minutes (second) and a plus/minus of plus-17 (fourth).

Since the new year, he has 19 goals and 11 assists in 24 games.

With such a good start to the second half of the season for him and Brantford, who is currently riding a nine-point streak, Xhekaj is looking forward to seeing how far the Bulldogs can go in the playoffs.

“We’re made for the playoffs,” he said.

“We have a great coaching staff and a great group. “We are very deep in attack and defense, so we are very confident and we cannot wait.”

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