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Montreal Canadiens Make A Flurry Of Minor-League Signings

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Montreal Canadiens gm Kent Hughes

The Montreal Canadiens said they weren’t going big-game hunting this free agency period, but they did go out and sign some much-needed depth for their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.

The Montreal Canadiens announced that they had signed defenceman Madison Bowey and forwards Anthony Richard and Mitchell Stephens to one-year, two-way contracts for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.

Madison Bowey, a former 2nd-round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2013, has five goals and 35 assists for 40 points in 158 games of NHL experience. The right-shot defenceman played in the AHL for most of last season, suiting up for 53 games with the Abbotsford Canucks. The 27-year-old defenseman tallied eight goals and 20 assists while serving 80 penalty minutes. Bowey would come and immediately hold the top spot on the Laval Rocket’s right side on defence, as that is a position that is very thin at the moment from an organizational perspective. He could also be used as NHL depth in case there are a flurry of injuries on the main roster.

Anthony Richard is a 25-year-old centerman who played 71 games with the Syracuse Crunch and Milwaukee Admirals. After getting lost in the shuffle with the Admirals and notching just seven goals and five assists in 31 games, Richard moved to Syracuse, where he quickly returned to his offensive ways with ten goals and 16 assists for 26 points in 40 games. The Laval Rocket is not particularly deep at the centre position for this upcoming season, and having a player like Richard will help the club fill out its top-9 for next season while prospects like Riley Kidney continue to develop.

Mitchell Stephens, a former 2nd-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, spent most of last season with the Detroit Red Wings, where he suited up for 27 games. In that time, he played in a bottom-six setting, putting up six assists in 27 games. Although he hasn’t found his touch in the NHL at this time, he’s a proven producer at the AHL level, recording 83 points in 130 AHL games. He, along with Richard, could provide some great depth down the middle as the Canadiens continue to funnel in young wingers to Laval this season.

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