A surprise name inserted into the Montreal Canadiens' lineup to start the season? An acquisition that could help with Lias Andersson

Published August 25, 2023 at 1:17 PM

As September quickly approaches, most NHL teams have finalized their rosters for the upcoming season. Fans and analysts have begun assembling their lines and pairings, and speculations about who will make the final roster are in full swing.

But what about players who are seldom mentioned in these discussions? Every year, one player per team surprises and manages to carve out a spot in the NHL.

Journalist Allan Mitchell from The Athletic has compiled a list of 32 players to watch in the upcoming camps who are currently flying under the radar.

The name suggested by the journalist for the Montreal Canadiens is indeed seldom mentioned but has a very high chance of making a comeback this year.

It is the young Swedish forward, Lias Andersson.

It would be a big surprise to see him in the Canadiens' lineup at the beginning of the season, but apparently, it's a possibility.

He agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract worth $775K on July 2nd. Undoubtedly under the recommendation of Jeff Gorton, who drafted him 7th overall with the Rangers in 2017, the Canadiens took a chance on the now 24-year-old player.

Here's what Mitchell thinks of Andersson:

"Andersson was the #7 pick in the 2017 draft and is now with his third organization. At 24, with only 110 NHL games under his belt, signing with the Canadiens (a rebuilding team) feels like a 'last chance' for the center. Andersson had his best season in the AHL (31-28-59 in 67 games) for the Reign in 2022-23, and if he can bring that kind of skill to the Canadiens' training camp, he should stick around. Andersson is well-suited for a bottom-six role, and Montreal might give him a shot at some point this season."

So, expect to see the 6-foot-1 player for a long time at the upcoming camp. He might even be one of Martin St. Louis's final cuts.

His contributions with the Laval Rocket are also noteworthy. As Mitchell recalls, he had his best career season in the AHL last year, collecting 59 points, ranking him 21st among the league's scorers. With his 31 goals, he finished 6th among the league's top goal-scorers.

His offensive contributions will be much needed, especially with the departures of Anthony Richard (team's top scorer in 2022-2023), Peter Abbandonato (2nd leading scorer in 2022-2023), and Joël Teasdale (4th leading scorer in 2022-2023).

The Swede might dominate this season in the AHL, aiming to earn a recall and prove he belongs in the major league. Seeing him with the Rocket on a line with Sean Farrell and Emil Heineman, for instance, could be very impressive
August 25   |   212 answers
A surprise name inserted into the Montreal Canadiens' lineup to start the season? An acquisition that could help with Lias Andersson

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