The Montreal Canadiens recently gave AHL standout Anthony Richard an NHL audition via a call-up, and the results have been very encouraging, to say the least.
In his first game, he showed a lot of intensity and speed, creating many chances in his limited minutes. This led to an exciting, if not brief promotion to the top six.
He started his second game in a Canadiens uniform on the fourth line, but that did not deter him, as he scored his first NHL goal against the Avalanche in a fantastic breakaway effort.
FIRST NHL GOAL FOR ANTHONY RICHARD pic.twitter.com/uA3cMv7rUR
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 22, 2022
Richard had previously played three NHL games before scoring his first goal, including two single games in two different seasons with the Nashville Predators.
When the Canadiens decided to recall him from the Laval Rocket, Richard was the league’s best goal-scorer with 18 goals in 27 games.
At 25 years old, Richard is what you would describe as a classic tweener, however, it’s also worth noting he really wasn’t allowed to prove his worth in the NHL despite putting the work in while playing for the Predators’ AHL affiliate.
With his first NHL goal in the books, Anthony trails Maurice and Henri for the franchise lead in goals scored by a Richard.
Those who had an opportunity to watch him play in the AHL probably weren’t surprised by the goal, because it involved all the classic elements of a Richard goal.
It involved speed off the rush. A lot of speed.
He kept it simple.
And he baited the goalie with an incredibly deceptive release that’s paired with fantastic accuracy.
Richard is currently signed to a one-year contract and will be a restricted-free agent this summer. Seeing as how quickly he acclimatized to both the AHL and NHL clubs, it would stand to reason a possible contract extension is on the horizon.