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Montreal Canadiens Injuries An Opportunity For Prospects

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Owen Beck

MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens announced several players would miss the start of training camp with various injuries.

Newly named captain Nick Suzuki will miss two weeks with a lower-body injury, whereas Jake Evans and Josh Anderson are both day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

Stalwart defender Joel Edmundson will miss a significant amount of time, as he’s suffering from a lower-body injury which will keep him out of action indefinitely.

It’s not the ideal manner in which to open camp, but it does present an opportunity. As it stands, the Canadiens have several players on the cusp of earning an NHL spot, and the injury parade may just be the chance they need to prove their worth.

Up front, we may see a player such as Owen Beck, who stood out as the best forward during the recent prospect tournament in Buffalo, get an extended audition. Beck’s defensive awareness led to several high-end scoring chances at the tournament. But it was his cerebral approach to every single situation that stood out.

Beck, who wore 62 during the tournament, did a fantastic job honouring the former owner of his number, Artturi Lehkonen. We shouldn’t expect him to reach that level, at least not yet, but there’s no doubt his recent performances have rocketed him up the prospect rankings list.

With 3 centres on the injury list, this is Beck’s time to shine.

Of course, it also opens the door for first-overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky. Slafkovsky showed flashes of brilliance in Buffalo but struggled to put together a dominant performance. Now that he’ll be playing with a much higher-quality of teammate, he should have an easier time putting together a complete game.

Defensively, things become much more complicated…and much more exciting.

The Montreal Canadiens already needed to fill a couple of positions on defence, seeing as they only had four bonafide defencemen on the roster to begin with: Edmundson, Mike Matheson, David Savard, and Chris Wideman.

The injury to Edmundson almost guarantees Corey Schueneman will start the season in the NHL, but it also leaves a spot open for the No.7 defenceman as well as a bottom-pairing defenceman.

Unless general manager Kent Hughes makes a move, which is quite likely, the Canadiens will start the season with two rookies on the blue line.

Consider Kaiden Guhle and Justin Barron the front runners for the open jobs, however, players such as Jordan Harris and Mattias Norlinder may challenge for the spot.

In other words, training camp just got a lot more interesting.

 

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BRINKLEY

Excuse my ignorance but I don’t get it. Edmonson will miss a significant amount of time due to injury BEFORE training camp gets under way? I can only assume his injury is not hockey related!

Marco D'Amico

Edmundson’s injury is his back yet again. It happened a few days ago and he is likely out for all of training camp.

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