College coach sets the record straight on Ryan Poehling

Jeff Drouin
October 15, 2021  (3:17 PM)

Among the biggest disappointments of the Habs' training camp is, of course, the name of center Ryan Poehling. Criticized for his lack of effort and the absence of a sense of urgency in his game, the young American will start the 2021-22 season with the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League.

Despite this, the criticism of the man who was seen as the team's potential third center would be mostly wrong. At least that's the opinion of coach Brett Larson, who coached Poehling during his last college campaign at St. Cloud State and who attended his former protégé's summer training session.
Larson says Poehling is a true enthusiast who never skimped on his efforts to improve.
"This summer, I saw a young man who really did everything he could to meet the expectations of Canadiens fans. He's left no stone unturned, I can tell you that."
And this state of mind would not be new for the CH number 25.
"Personally, I've never had to motivate Ryan. He's a guy who loves hockey. In 2018-2019, we had a great club and Ryan was one of the guys that others could rely on in big moments. He was one of the guys who motivated others in the lows. He always wanted to be at his best because he wanted to give back to his partners. He's a guy like that."
In addition, Larson reminds us that the development time is different in every player, and that letting go of the project that is Ryan Poehling would be a big mistake.
"I believe 100% that he will become a very good player in the NHL. There's no doubt in my mind."
"Every year Ryan is maturing. I see him grow as a human being, but also as an athlete. I think eventually people will be able to see the Ryan Poehling they've been hoping to root for since the day he was drafted."
Will these words be enough to get fans to regain faith in the Habs' first round pick in the 2017 draft?
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