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Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin: Cleared to play
According to general manager Marc Bergevin, Drouin (ankle) has been cleared to play, Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Drouin has only appeared in 27 games this season due to injuries to his wrist and ankle, but he's still been one of Montreal's better forwards when healthy, picking up seven goals and 15 points over that span. The 2013 first-round pick will slide into a middle-six role and a spot on one of the Canadiens' power-play units once postseason play gets underway.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Xavier Ouellet: Hasn't found twine since 2016-17
Ouellet recorded just two points (both assists) in 12 NHL contests prior to the suspension of play in mid-March.
The blueliner hasn't scored a goal at the NHL level since he found twine thrice in 2016-17 with Detroit. Ouellet has been far more proficient at the AHL level, putting up nine goals and 24 points in 39 games this year with the Laval Rocket. That type of production would translate to fantasy utility in the NHL, but until that happens, the France native carries no value for virtual squads.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Ben Chiarot: Sets new career high
Chiarot chipped in nine goals and 21 points through 69 games before the league went on hiatus in mid-March.
Both those figures are career bests for the 29-year-old, who has seemed to benefit greatly from increased usage in his first year in Montreal (23:08 vs. 18:37 in Winnipeg last season). Chiarot's 0.3 points per game aren't going to rocket you to a fantasy championship, but if your league counts defensive metrics, his 152 hits and 128 blocked shots make him a sneaky play in deeper formats.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Cameron Hillis: Inks entry-level deal
Hillis agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with Montreal on Tuesday.
In 62 games with OHL Guelph this season, Hillis racked up 24 goals and 59 helpers. The center figures to at least get a look during training camp but most likely will end up in AHL Laval in order to develop his game for another year. If he can bring his scoring touch to the professional ranks, the 19-year-old won't have to wait long to make his NHL debut.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Alexander Romanov: Secures entry-level deal
Romanov agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with Montreal on Friday.
The official start date of Romanov's deal hasn't been finalized, as the Habs are hoping he will be allowed to link up with the team for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign should it restart. In 43 outings with KHL club CSKA Moscow this year, the 20-year-old defender notched seven helpers, 14 PIM and a plus-21 rating. Whenever he joins the Canadiens, Romanov figures to immediately compete for a spot on the 23-man roster.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Arsen Khisamutdinov: Grabs entry-level deal
Khisamutdinov agreed to terms on a two-year, entry-level contract with Montreal on Friday.
In 31 appearances in the KHL for Neftekhimik Niznekamsk, Khisamutdinov recorded just one goal and two helpers, which no doubt factor into his decision to spend some time in the VHL (Russia's second-tier league) as well. Considering he wasn't a full-time KHL player, the winger figures to spend the bulk of the 2020-21 camping adjusting to the North American style of play with AHL Laval.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Vasili Demchenko: Lands entry-level deal
Demchenko inked a one-year, entry-level contract with Montreal on Tuesday.
Demchenko will link up with the Habs ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, when he figures to compete for the No. 2 spot behind Carey Price. In 36 appearances this season for KHL clubs Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, the 26-year-old netminder registered a 9-11-1 record, 2.77 GAA and .907 save percentage. Demchenko will likely need to beat out Charlie Lindgren (undisclosed) for a spot on the 23-man roster.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Cole Fonstad: Keeps scoring in new WHL digs
Fonstad concluded his age-19 season with WHL Everett having recorded 74 points in 60 games. He also racked up a plus-39 rating.
A fifth-round draft pick of the Canadiens in 2018, Fonstad opened the 2019-20 campaign with Prince Albert for the fourth straight year before being traded to Everett nine games in. He co-led the Silvertips -- who were just a single point behind Portland for the top spot in the 22-team league when play was suspended -- in points with Bryce Kindopp, who recently signed an entry-level deal with Anaheim. It's important to note that Fonstad remains unsigned by the Habs, who would lose the rights to him should the parties not put pen to paper by the two-year deadline this June. That said, it's hard to imagine Montreal not doing what it can to sign the Saskatchewan native in the next couple of months.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Laurent Dauphin: Secures one-year deal
Dauphin agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with Montreal on Friday.
Dauphin joined the Habs in January in a minor-league swap for Michael McCarron and appears to have shown the organization enough to earn one more year. In 25 games with AHL Laval, the 25-year-old notched seven goals and eight helpers to give him 31 points total for the entire 2020-21 campaign. If the center can put together a strong training camp, he could be in the mix for a bottom-six role with the club heading into the 2020-21 campaign.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Carey Price: Selected best goalie in NHLPA poll
Price was voted the best goalie in the NHLPA player poll.
Price was overwhelmingly selected by his peers as the best goalie with 41.55 percent of the vote. The next closest player was Andrei Vasilevskiy at 17.09 percent. With 11 games left in the regular season, the 32-year-old Price would normally be a sure bet to reach the 30-win mark for the sixth time in his career, but those games may never get played. Depending on how the league formats a playoff scenario, the British Columbia native may need to be ready to play again this year.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Jeff Petry: Hits 40-point mark again
Petry has 11 goals, 29 assists and 12 power-play points over 71 games in 2019-20.
Petry increased his offensive production over the last three seasons, hitting the 40-point mark in each one. His contributions have been useful, particularly as injuries hit No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber over the previous two seasons and the team struggled to score goals. Petry has done this while maintaining defensive responsibility, leading Montreal with 177 hits this season. Including the partial season stats from 2019-20, Petry's averaged 178 hits and 113 blocked shots over the last three seasons. He has one year remaining on his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent following the 2020-21 season.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Artturi Lehkonen: Has multiple long goal droughts
Lehkonen has 13 goals and 14 assists with a 9.3 shooting percentage over 70 games in 2019-20.
Lehkonen once again had trouble scoring consistently, but there was modest improvement relative to the previous two years. He had goal droughts of 16, 11 and eight games, but his shooting percentage was a three-year best. The Canadiens' hope that Lehkonen would eventually develop a scorer's touch hasn't materialized, so they are content with him being a third-line forward who plays the entire rink and is a staple on the penalty-kill unit. Lehkonen has one year remaining on a deal before becoming a restricted free agent following the 2020-21 season.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Shea Weber: Bounce-back season
Weber has 15 goals and 21 assists over 65 games in 2019-20.
Weber's battled through injuries the previous two seasons, but was on a pace for 75 games played and another 40-point season. He appeared to avoid a significant foot injury, which was originally projected for him to miss four-to-six weeks. The 34-year-old blueliner has four years remaining and will return as a top-pair defenseman in 2020-21.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Jordan Harris: Staying in school
Northeastern coach Jim Hadigan said Friday that Harris has committed to returning to college for his junior season rather than joining the Canadiens for the 2020-21 campaign, Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca reports.
A 2018 third-round pick, Harris will wait until at least next spring to join the Habs. The 19-year-old blueliner turned in a solid sophomore season at Northeastern, posting three goals and 18 assists in 33 games.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin: Injury wreaks havoc
Drouin (ankle) has seven goals, eight assists and a 13.7 shooting percentage over 27 games in 2019-20.
Drouin had an impressive start to the season, recording 15 points and a 17.9 shooting percentage over 17 games before wrist surgery put an end to what was looking like his best season since joining Montreal. He returned from the wrist injury after missing 37 games, but an ankle injury forced him to miss another seven games. He was on the verge of returning when the NHL pressed the pause button on the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. It can't be known if Drouin was taking his offense to another level because of the injury. That will most likely be answered in 2020-21, the first of three remaining years on a six-year deal he inked in 2017.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Tomas Tatar: Team leader in 2019-20
Tatar (upper body) has 22 goals, 39 assists and 14 power-play points over 68 games in 2019-20.
Tatar, who missed three games due to the injury, was expected to miss significant time going forward before the NHL paused the season due to the coronovirus pandemic. At the time play stopped, Tatar was the team leader in all the major scoring categories, and his 61 points surpassed his previous season high set in 2018-19 over 80 games. As Montreal was hit with injuries to its forwards, Tatar stepped up his offense. He has one year remaining on his contact and will return as an essential, top-line forward in 2020-21.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Nick Suzuki: Sixth in rookie scoring
Suzuki has 13 goals, 28 assists and is minus-15 while averaging 15:59 of ice time per game over 71 games in 2019-20.
Suzuki, who hasn't missed a game, showed the typical signs of rookie fatigue prior to the NHL suspending the season, posting just one point over the final nine contests. He currently ranks sixth in rookie scoring. Immediately prior to the scoring drop, Suzuki won the team's player of the month award for February, when the 20-year-old forward led the Habs in power-play goals and points (two and five), tied for second in points (10), tied for third in goals (four) and shots (35), and ranked fourth in assists (six). He received ample time on the power play (2:10 per game) and is tied with Tomas Tatar on the team with 14 power-play points. Suzuki impressed head coach Claude Julien with his hockey IQ, and he'll return in a top-six role and as a member of the power-play unit in 2020-21.... See More ... See Less
Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher: Has third straight 20-goal season
Gallagher has 22 goals, 21 assists and a team-high 226 shots while averaging 16:55 of ice time per game over 59 contests in 2019-20.
Depending on the state of play in the NHL following the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, it looks like Gallagher's run of 30-goal seasons will end at two. However, three straight 20-goal seasons is a notable achievement for the forward, who was a fifth-round draft pick (147th overall) in 2010. Despite losing ice time to a head injury, the feisty forward leads Montreal in shots by a wide margin and is tied with Tomas Tatar for the team lead in goals. He's the goal-scoring star of the team, but the injury and a lackluster power play (17.7 percent, 22nd) have contributed to Gallagher's reduced scoring. The team could use scoring depth, but Gallagher is part of a top productive line. He'll return in 2020-21 along with Tatar and Phillip Danault, all of whom will be in the final year of their contracts, and Gallagher will be in a position to reach 30 markers again.... See More ... See Less