Canadiens Harvey-Pinard & Ylönen Make Massive Impact In Laval
Montreal Canadiens prospects Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen are paying immediate dividends for the Laval Rocket, putting them in excellent position to make the playoffs.
The two youngsters were reassigned to the Rocket last week in an attempt to give the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate the most amount of firepower possible to clinch a playoff spot.
In a heated race to the finish line with Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, the Laval Rocket needed to win every game moving forward, and they’re well on their way to achieving that goal thanks to some much-needed reinforcements.
Since being reassigned, Harvey-Pinard and Ylönen have propelled the Rocket to two convincing wins, with a final game yet to be played on Friday.
We Got That Old Thing Back
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who looks absolutely energized from his successful stint with the Montreal Canadiens, has taken the bull by the horns in Laval.
Not only did he score a timely go-ahead goal for the Rocket in Monday night’s victory over the Syracuse Crunch, but he went on to add five assists in the very next game against the top-seeded Toronto Marlies.
Not only has he been a leader offensively, but he’s also a played crucial defensive role for the Rocket as they pushed back to of the top teams in the North Division.
TWO SECONDS INTO THE POWER PLAY AND HARVEY-PINARD SCORES
1-0 Rocket! pic.twitter.com/CcsX7XTe7e
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 10, 2023
Harvey-Pinard also helped energize a stagnant Anthony Richard, who had seemingly lost his scoring touch from early on in the season when he lead the league in that department.
Since Harvey-Pinard’s return, Richard also has six points over the last two games; including a hattrick performance on Wednesday night against the Marlies.
Harvey-Pinard factored into all of Richard’s points except for a late-game empty-netter that sealed the deal for the Rocket down the stretch.
He’s helped spark the Rocket’s top line, much like he did for the Montreal Canadiens amid all their injuries, and looks to have brought his infectious energy into the lineup once more.
But he’s not the only one that’s impressing.
Anthony Richard (@RocketLaval) nets his second goal of the night in #TORvsLAV. pic.twitter.com/tvBAu6TAmC
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) April 13, 2023
Jesse Ylönen has also not missed the opportunity to make an impact for Laval Rocket right from the start.
Not only has Ylönen helped reanimate the Rocket’s second line; but he’s ignited their power play as well.
The 23-year-old has goals in each of his three games with the Rocket since being reassigned and has added two assists as well for a five-point haul.
Ylönen’s return has given Laval back its favourite triggerman, as the young winger’s one-timer was one of the Rocket’s most effective weapons throughout the season.
His return has helped rebalance the Rocket’s offensive units on the man advantage, and his extra speed helps give a team desperate for mobility up front with some wheels to burn.
Jesse Ylonen, sur une passe de RHP, sa 4e ce soir, permet au Rocket de mener 5 à 3 avec 1 minute à jouer #GoHabsGo #Habs
— André Ménard (@samuelmj01) April 13, 2023
The Final Countdown
The Laval Rocket get ready to play their final game of the season at home on Friday against the Syracuse Crunch in what is likely to be an all-out battle.
The Rocket could put all the chances on their side to make the AHL Playoffs with one final victory to close out the season.
They’re currently three points ahead of the Cleveland Monsters for the final playoff spot in the North Division, but the Monsters have two games in hand.
However, the Monsters play three consecutive games this weekend against the Utica Comets and twice in less than 24 hours against the potent Rochester Americans.
It stands to reason that they could very well drop one of those three games; meaning that, if the Laval Rocket win on Friday, they would have a high probability of making the playoffs.
Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has been adamant about wanting to have the Rocket make the playoffs to help expose his prospects to a higher level of competition.
His reassignment of Harvey-Pinard and Ylönen could end up being the key to ensuring he gets his wish, as other Montreal Canadiens prospect could join their ranks should they punch their ticket this weekend.
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