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Jesse Ylönen needs more ice time

In the end, the Montreal Canadiens’ injury curse wasn’t just a nightmare of the 2022-2023 season.

Indeed, this curse is unfortunately still very much in place this season, as evidenced by the infirmary overflowing with players, including several key players such as Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook.

The habs’ hecatomy of injuries is a huge negative of the current season, but if you dig deep enough, you can see some positives.

Really?

Something positive about 45,000 injured players?

Yes, yes, and I’ll tell you why.

Having so many injured is tragic and a real shame for development, but at the same time, it opens doors for other players to stand out and show what they can do.

We’re seeing this right now with Jayden Struble, who is seizing an opportunity he would never have had if Jordan Harris, David Savard and Arber Xhekaj hadn’t all been injured at the same time.

Well, it’s the same on the attack, and I think it’s really time to send Jesse Ylönen through one of those doors that have opened up with injuries.

Ylönen deserves more ice time, and the opportunity is perfect right now with all the injuries.

What would the Habs have to lose by giving Ylönen more minutes?

In a rebuilding season that’s clearly going nowhere, it’s time to give a real chance to a 24-year-old who still hasn’t fully established himself in the NHL.

Ylönen has shown time and again that he’s very talented, but he’s never been given a real chance in the NHL to make his mark.

Why do I say that?

Because he only plays an average of 10 minutes and 29 seconds per game.

That’s far too little to really analyze and get an idea of the Finn’s real potential.

And it’s not as if the lineup is full to bursting and there’s no room higher up the lineup for Ylönen.

Martin St-Louis insists on giving Josh Anderson every chance to bounce back, while Ylönen is often benched in the third period.

In short, I think it’s high time Martin St-Louis gave Ylönen a real chance on the top-9 or even the top-6 so we can really get an idea of the 24-year-old forward’s potential.

His talent is undeniable, and he’s shown it on several occasions, including twice in shoot-outs.

Let’s see what he can do with 15-16 minutes of ice time per game.

Ylönen is working hard to improve, repeatedly practicing his shot after practice, as Guillaume Lefrançois explained in his article in La Presse Sports, which I’ll relay here.

In short, it’s time to give Ylönen a real chance before it’s too late.

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