ECHL: Trois-Rivieres Lions Announce 2023-24 Protected List

Taylor Trebotte/InsideTheRink

The Trois-Rivieres Lions have announced that have protected 26 players on their 2023-24 protected list. Here are the rules of the protected list per the ECHL:

Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish provided the players protected meet the guidelines as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association which state that teams shall retain the rights to each player that:

1. Signed an SPC in 2023-24 with the Member, and has not been traded or released, OR

2. Signed an SPC in 2023-24, and was recalled to the NHL/AHL or IIHF team, and has not been traded or released, OR

3. Had received a Qualifying Offer last summer for the current Season, DID NOT sign an SPC, and has not been traded or released, OR

4. Has been suspended by the Member or League, and has not been traded or released, OR

5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2023-24 Regular Season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released, OR

6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.

Protected lists may exceed 20 players.

Forwards:

Elisa Ouellet/InsideTheRink

The Lions decided to protect 15 forwards, but three names stand out among them: Cedric Montminy, Anthony Beauregard, and Nicolas Guay.

Cedric Montminy- The 29-year-old forward has just finished up his third year as the Lions captain and sixth year overall in the ECHL, as he previously spent three years in the ECHL with the Rapid City Rush before joining the Lions for their inaugural season. The Quebec Native has put up 19 goals in all three of his seasons with Trois-Rivieres and has served as the team’s captain for all three seasons. Montminy came along for the Lions during the Kelly Cup Playoffs as he put up five goals and four assists for nine points as the Lions would lose in six games to the Norfolk Admirals in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Over the course of his six-year ECHL career, Montminy has put up 103 goals and 108 assists for 211 points in 347 games; he’s added seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 13 career Kelly Cup Playoff games.

Anthony Beauregard—When you compare Beaugard’s numbers from the 2022-23 season to the 2023-24 season, it catches your eye that his numbers dropped this season compared to his first season. However, there shouldn’t be concern among Lions fans as Trois-Rivieres had a lot more weapons this year compared to the 2022-23 season. One of the big things that Beauregard brings to the Lions is experience, as he’s spent five years in the ECHL putting up 78 goals and 112 assists for 190 points in 258 ECHL games as he’s spent time with the Indy Fuel, Brampton Beast, Wichita Thunder, now the Trois-Rivieres Lions.

Nicolas Guay- It was a rough year for Nicolas Guay, who got injured at the end of October and would miss nearly two and a half months. Once returning to the lineup, Guay found his groove and would find the scoresheet in seven of his first ten games back from his injury and would finish off the year with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 36 games; he was just one goal shy from tying his rookie year total of 12 goals in a season in which he played in all 72 games. The 24-year-old forward would add two goals and two assists for four points in six Kelly Cup Playoff games during this past season. If Guay can stay healthy expect him to be a big part of the Lions team moving forward.

Forwards Protected: Charles-Antoine Paiement, Matthew Boucher, Mason Kohn, Nicolas Larivieres, Cedric Montminy, Jonathan Yantsis, Tyler Hylland, Anthony Beauregard, Justin Ducharme, Nicolas Guay, Willam Lemay, Nick Jermain, Maxim Trepanier, Ty Smilanic, and Zach Kaiser.

Defense

Taylor Trebotte/InsideTheRink

Last season, the Lions’ top two defensemen were Miguel Tourigny and Chris Ortiz, who were both on AHL deals with the Laval Rocket. That being said, the Lions’ best defender they protected was Brycen Martin, who played in 69 games with the Rocket, scoring four goals and 14 assists for 18 points during the regular season and adding two assists in six games during the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The former third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2014 has spent seven seasons in the ECHL, putting up 25 goals and 98 assists for 123 points in 374 games with the Elmira Jackals, Cincinnati Cyclones, Maine Mariners, Fort Wayne Komets, Norfolk Admirals, Indy Fuel, Utah Grizzlies, and Trois-Rivieres Lions.

Defenseman Protected: Lukash Matthews, Jacob Paquette, Cory Thomas, Brycen Martin. Kirby Proctor, Eric Hjorth, Markuss Komuls, Bradley Johnson, Sam Dunn, Alex Breton

Goaltending

Rich LeBlanc/InsideTheRink

The Lions would protect one goalie and that would be Zachary Bouthillier. Over the course of the 2022-23 season, Trois-Rivieres would have five different goaltenders see time between the pipes, but Bouthillier would come lead the team in GAA and SV% and would be second on the team in wins as he would go 6-4-0-1 with a 2.68 GAA, .914SV%, and one shutout in just 13 appearances for the Lions. With Laval already losing Strauss Mann, who is heading overseas, and Kasmir Kuskiuso, who won’t be back in the Montreal Canadiens organization next season, the crowded goaltending situation should sort itself out as I would expect Joe Vrbetic to see more time next season in Laval giving Bouthillier a chance to earn himself a bigger role next season with the Lions.

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Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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