The Montreal Canadiens have tendered a two-way offer to 24-year-old Lias Andersson, the 7th overall pick at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the same year in which the Canadiens picked Ryan Poehling with the 25th overall pick.
Poehling, 24, was eventually traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he scored seven goals and seven assists in 53 games. Consequently, the American forward was not offered a qualifying offer by the Penguins and was allowed to become an unrestricted free agent.
Andersson, featured in just one game for the Los Angeles Kings last year. He spent the majority of the season with the King’s AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, where he scored 31 goals and 28 assists in 61 games.
As it stands, the Canadiens already have an abundance of forwards that are set to battle for roster spots in the NHL, which means Andersson is likely to feature as a key player for their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.
He will join several other Canadiens prospects in Laval, including Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, Emil Heineman, Sean Farrel, and Filip Mesar, who confirmed he was headed to the AHL following his frustrating season in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers.
It signals a changing of the guard for the Laval Rocket. In the past, they have relied on mercenaries to fill their ranks rather than prospects that still hold some NHL potential.
Andersson was chosen by the New York Rangers in 2017, at a time when current Montreal Canadiens executive Jeff Gorton was a part of the team. He failed to reach expectations, scoring just three goals in 49 games with his Draft team.
Given he is 24 years old, we shouldn’t expect him to suddenly develop into a top-tier talent, but it’s never a bad idea to take a flyer on players who have shown significant potential at some point in their careers.
Lias Andersson to the Canadiens: two-way $775K/$450K
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 2, 2023