The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they have placed forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard on IR. Harvey-Pinard was dealing with a lower-body injury earlier this month where he missed three games for the Canadiens but returned for three games before being scratched for Montreal’s last two games. Coming into this season, there were high expectations for Harvey-Pinard after he had 14 goals and six assists for 20 points in 34 games with the Canadiens last season, however, Harvey-Pinard has yet to find the back of the net in 13 games this season while tallying only four assists. The Canadiens 7th round pick in 2019 has 15 goals and 10 assists in 51 career NHL games.
Montreal heads out for a four-game west coast road trip, so they were likely looking to open up a roster spot with Harvey-Pinard hurt, and that’s exactly what they did as the team recalled defenceman Jayden Struble from Laval. Struble, a second-round pick of the Habs in 2019, has a goal and five assists for six points in 12 games with the Laval Rocket this season. Prior to making the jump to the AHL last season, Struble spent four years at Northeastern where he put up nine goals and 39 assists for 48 points in 104 games. The Canadiens head out West with 12 forwards and eight defenceman, so if a blueliner is unable to go, expect the Habs to go 11-7, Montreal was without Arber Xhekaj on Saturday in Boston after he left Thursday’s game vs Detroit early with an upper-body injury, he is considered day to day but will not travel with the team out west