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Montreal Canadiens

Top-3 Candidates To Be Called Up By The Montreal Canadiens



Montreal Canadiens prospect Anthony Richard

With the NHL season in full swing, injuries are inevitable, and even though the Montreal Canadiens do not require reinforcements just yet, it’s worth keeping an eye on the players that deserve a call-up from the Laval Rocket.

With just 4 wins in 16 games, the Rocket are off to a difficult start to the season, however, there are certainly a few players that have emerged as the best candidates for an NHL audition.

Rem Pitlick, who has four points in four games since being assigned to the AHL, is the most logical choice to receive a call for the Canadiens, and with that in mind, we’ll examine three players that have spent the entirety of the season with the Rocket.

Anthony Richard, forward, 16 GP, 11 G, 5 A, 16 PTS.

From the very start of the development camp, it was apparent Anthony Richard would become a crucial cog in the Rocket’s offence.

If Richard was a speaker, he’d be constantly turned up to 11. He has one speed: faster than his opponents.

Most importantly, he can drive the offence at full speed because his stickhandling matches his skating when it comes to operating at high speeds.

Richard doesn’t have the heaviest shot in the league, nor the fastest, but he does possess high-level accuracy.

When he combines his accuracy with an incredibly deceptive release, it leads to goals.

A lot of goals.

In fact, Richard leads the entire AHL in goal-scoring, with 11 goals in 16 games, and he accounts for over 20% of the goals scored by the Rocket this season.

Xavier Simoneau, forward, 15 GP, 3 G, 9 A, 12 PTS.

If there’s one player that epitomizes hard work, it’s definitely Xavier Simoneau.

He possesses a unique skill set, one that tends to drive his opponents up the wall long enough to distract them, which is when Simoneau’s talent shines through. As it stands, Simoneau leads the Rocket in assists.

At 5’6″, Simoneau would be one of the shortest forwards to play for the Montreal Canadiens in recent memory, but don’t be fooled by his size.

Simoneau plays with so much more energy and intensity that any reservations about his diminutive frame are quickly forgotten.

He won’t break any scoring records if called up to the NHL, but he would provide an honest effort every night, not to mention he’d be able to learn from a head coach that knows a thing or two about playing in the NHL against bigger opponents.

Justin Barron, defenceman, 16 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 PTS.

The Canadiens currently have eight defencemen on the roster, which mitigates the chances of seeing a call-up involving a Rocket blueliner in the near future.

But if injuries start to mount, Justin Barron has stood out as the most viable option for an NHL assignment, edging out Otto Leskinen, Corey Schueneman, and Mattias Norlinder due to his recent uptick in production.

Barron has silky-smooth skating and untapped offensive potential, owing to his ability to generate clean, controlled exits, the most crucial aspect of scoring off the rush.

Jumping to the NHL from the AHL is significantly more difficult for defencemen, but seeing as Barron already played a handful of games with the Montreal Canadiens last season, his transition should be a little easier.