Montreal Canadiens forward Joshua Roy and defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Arber Xhekaj and Joshua Roy Sent Down to the Laval Rocket? Kent Hughes Will Likely Make a Very Surprising Decision on Friday

Published March 5, 2024 at 10:24
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Friday 3:00 PM will not only be the deadline to make trades in the NHL, but it will also be the deadline to assign a player to the AHL in order for that player to be eligible to participate in the playoffs. Every year at this time, players are, on paper only, sent to their affiliate team before being immediately recalled to the big club.

With the Rocket in an intense battle to secure a playoff spot, it wouldn't be surprising if Kent Hughes uses this technicality once again.

I say once again because, as the excellent Anthony Marcotte reminds us, Hughes, at the same time last year, assigned Corey Schueneman and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard to the AHL. Both were then able to participate in the Rocket's rather brief spring playoff run.

Joshua Roy sent to the Laval Rocket by Friday? Don't panic




This year, Hughes has the option to assign several players, including Joshua Roy. He could even very soon get affected as Rafaël Harvey-Pinard is about to return to the lineup after an injury.

Hughes might also be tempted to assign both players, Roy and Harvey-Pinard. But knowing that he will need to fill jerseys in the forward group with the big club, it would be surprising if RHP is demoted.


Besides the two forwards, Kent Hughes has the option, if he desires, to assign Jayden Struble and Arber Xhekaj, both of whom do not need to go through waivers. He could also technically choose to send Kaiden Guhle and Juraj Slafkovsky to Laval, but that would be quite surprising!

Another point to consider in Kent Hughes's equation is the fact that David Reinbacher and Adam Engstrom will likely join Laval in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Lane Hutson will also see action with the big club but cannot be demoted to Laval if he signs an NHL entry contract. With these additions in mind, Hughes will need to carefully plan his defensive lineup, both for the CH and Laval.


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Arber Xhekaj and Joshua Roy Sent Down to the Laval Rocket? Kent Hughes Will Likely Make a Very Surprising Decision on Friday

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