Jake Evans will have a golden opportunity by the end of training camp

Published October 1, 2021 at 4:42 PM

With just hours to go before the Montreal Canadiens face off against the Ottawa Senators on Friday and Saturday night, many players are still fighting for a regular spot in Domique Ducharme's lineup, or for a chance to move up in the lineup.

Although he has long been assured of a roster spot, young center Jake Evans will be watched closely by fans and decision-makers throughout the weekend and into training camp. As analyst Louis Jean so aptly mentioned during his segment on 91.9 Sports, Evans will have every chance in the world to prove that he is capable of filling the organization's third center position, behind Nick Suzuki and newcomer Christian Dvorak.

Often used in a defensive role last season, Evans still had some good flashes, especially late in the season, and will now have to show that he can take advantage of the departures of Phillip Danault and Jesperi Kotkaniemi to get more responsibility on the offensive end, as he has done so well in the AHL in recent years.

Also, it's important to mention that other candidates to play the third center role are slow to come forward. Ryan Poehling is a dominant player in the AHL, but is far from being a sure thing at the top level and has had a disappointing training camp so far. Although he is an established veteran, Cedric Paquette is tagged with the fourth unit, while the option of using a winger like Jonathan Drouin or Mathieu Perreault at center has already been ruled out several times by Dominique Ducharme.

The options are therefore limited, which is why Jake Evans is the player best suited to fill that role in the Canadiens' current offense. Evans, 25, is expected to play at least two or three more games between now and October 7. He is currently leading a trio of players that includes Joel Armia and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, and this will be his chance to make the position his own once and for all.
Latest 10 stories