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Lias Andersson confident he can still establish himself in the NHL
Exactly nine days ago, news broke that the Montreal Canadiens had signed Swedish forward Lias Andersson to a one-year contract.

Obviously, this signing didn’t thrill planet Earth – quite the contrary.

Andersson is a 24-year-old forward, a former first-round pick (7th overall) of the New York Rangers in 2017, who never managed to establish himself in the NHL, accumulating 17 points (seven goals and 10 assists) in 110 NHL games.

On the face of it, this is clearly a signing to enhance the Laval Rocket’s attack in the AHL, to somewhat replace the departure of Anthony Richard and even Alex Belzile.

Especially considering the fact that Andersson signed a two-part contract indicating that he would pocket less money if he ended up in the AHL.

However, considering that Andersson is a former choice of the Jeff Gorton and Nick Bobrov clique, when they were in New York, it’s clear that the Swede will have his chance to make his mark in order to potentially create a surprise and make his mark in Montreal.

One thing is certain: the Tricolore’s newest member wants to play in the NHL.

Indeed, this is what he reported in an interview with Patrik Bexell of the EyesOnThePrize website.

Not only does Andersson want to make his mark in Montreal, but he’s confident he can still establish himself as an NHLer, and not just on the fourth line.

“I had a good last season. I’m feeling good. I want to be in the NHL, and not just on the fourth line. I want to be higher up in the lineup, and one day produce in the NHL. I feel I’ve improved in recent years and that I belong in the NHL. I’m confident that I can play well in the NHL too.” – Lias Andersson

The former Rangers and Kings player then added that he’s aware that the CH has several good players and good young players who will all be pushing to make the line-up, so the competition will be fierce.

He still hopes to make the roster, and if he doesn’t make it, he’ll do everything he can to play well in the AHL so that the CH can call him back for an NHL job.

Andersson believes that the fact that he can play both center and wing will benefit him in his quest for an NHL role.

What’s more, his excellent season in the AHL has given him a great deal of confidence in his scoring talents. Andersson scored 31 goals and 28 assists for a total of 59 points in 67 games with the Ontario Reign last season.

In short, Lias Andersson’s destiny is in his own hands, and a good training camp could earn him a place in the sun.

Unfortunately, however, it’s not quite that simple.

With so many forwards on the Habs right now, it will be very difficult for Andersson to take someone else’s spot, or to be prioritized over a young prospect who has had a solid camp as well.

Here’s a list of forwards who could play in Montreal.

Guaranteed to be in the line-up :

  • Nick Suzuki
  • Cole Caufield
  • Kirby Dach
  • Sean Monahan
  • Josh Anderson
  • Alex Newhook
  • Brendan Gallagher
Will most likely belong in Montreal:

  • Juraj Slafkovsky
  • Jake Evans
  • Rafaël Harvey-Pinard

If they aren’t traded, they’ll be in the default lineup unless there’s a surprise:

  • Mike Hoffman
  • Christian Dvorak
  • Joel Armia
This brings us to 13 forwards.

That would mean there’s already one extra forward in the line-up, if logic holds.

So, unfortunately, as much as I’d love to see Andersson in Montreal to really give him a chance to blossom, I don’t think he’ll be prioritized over any of these 13 forwards, barring a trade.

Injuries could help Andersson.

However, we shouldn’t relive the hecatomb of last season, at least I hope not.

So, in the end, I think Andersson will start the season in Laval, end up playing a few games in Montreal like Anthony Richard after a good start to the season, but will never really get his chance.

It’s a shame, but that’s the reality.

P.S.: And let’s not forget all the young players who will be looking to spring a surprise at camp and make their mark in Montreal.

Emil Heineman, Sean Farrell, Owen Beck, Joshua Roy and Jesse Ylönen will all get their chance.

And I hadn’t even named Michael Pezzetta and Rem Pitlick.

Anyway, let’s see how this attacking congestion will be managed.

En Rafale

– Another tough loss for Montreal CF, as the offense failed again.

– Nice gesture on his part.

– To watch today.

– He’s just too strong.

– Read more.

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