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Canadiens Kent Hughes On Recalling Top CHL Prospects To NHL

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Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes

The Montreal Canadiens are in an emergency situation allowing them to call up one of their junior prospects, and general manager Kent Hughes gave his take on the idea.

In a recent interview with TVA Sports” Jean-Charles Lajoie, Hughes was asked whether the situation, a dire one plagued with injury for the Canadiens, could warrant the recall some Canadiens prospects from junior for reinforcements.

Due to having so many players on emergency recall at the moment, the Canadiens are able to call up prospects like Owen Beck and Joshua Roy from junior through a clause in the NHL-CHL agreement.

According to Hughes, although the opportunity could be an interesting one for fans, especially given this lost season, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the prospect to uproot them from their current environment just for a handful of games.

“I believe that a player is part of their team. In Owen’s case, he’s just been traded to Peterborough and in Josh’s case, he’s in Sherbrooke. Both teams have high aspirations for the rest of the season and the playoffs,” said Hughes regarding the possibility of calling up Owen Beck or Joshua Roy. “If we had a major emergency, we could consider it, but, at the moment, we feel they’re better off playing in junior, focusing on their game and helping their team.”

Obviously, the Petes and Phoenix, Beck and Roy’s junior clubs, are all but guaranteed a spot in the playoffs in the OHL and QMJHL respectively. That being said, Hughes would rather deplete the Laval Rocket of players before interrupting the precious development time of his youngsters in a winning environment.

“We talk about culture. You have to learn how to win and the most amount of success that these players have before turning pro will be beneficial to them and to us as an organization as well,” added Kent Hughes in regards to his viewpoint on junior-level progression.

CHL-NHL Rule

The CHL-NHL agreement includes a clause that allows an NHL club to pluck a player out of junior on an emergency basis in a particular situation.

Specifically, if an NHL club has already proceeded to two emergency recalls for a given position (defenceman or forward), they would be eligible to recall a junior-based player should a third emergency recall be necessary.

Other teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets (Foudy), Calgary Flames (Baertschi) and Buffalo Sabres (Guhle) have used this option to get out of a tough bind on the injury front.

The Montreal Canadiens are already at three emergency recalls and running with 11 forwards and only 22 players on their roster; cutting it extremely close.

Montreal have Owen Beck, Filip Mesar, Joshua Roy and Riley Kidney with valid Entry-Level Contracts (ELC) in junior that could be viable options for the club to call on; and the experience could be exciting for both the player and the fans.

However, Hughes doesn’t seem to want to bother them at this time; choosing to let them focus on their junior team and playoff hopes ahead.

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Curtis Ault

A wise view by a smart GM.

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