Montreal Canadiens: Losing Noah Juulsen Would Sting, But Waivers Was Only Choice

LAVAL, QC - NOVEMBER 15: Noah Juulsen (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - NOVEMBER 15: Noah Juulsen (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens Noah Juulsen is on waivers.

Montreal Canadiens prospect Noah Juulsen is currently on waivers and could be picked up by any other team for nothing at lunch time today.

Losing him for absolutely nothing in return would be unfortunate, but the Habs had no choice but to place him on waivers.

Juulsen was the Canadiens first round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. He continued to play for the Everett Silvertips after being drafted, before making his way to the American Hockey League and eventually playing with the Habs.

The 6’3″ and 190 pound right defenceman actually split his first pro season between the AHL and NHL. He played 31 games with the Laval Rocket and 23 with the Canadiens in the 2017-18 season. The physical, defensive blue liner with an impressive breakout pass started the following season with the Canadiens, showing plenty of potential to be a top-four defenceman in short order.

However, he was hit in the face with two shots in the same game against the Washington Capitals. He was out of the lineup for about a month and after returning for four games he was sent down to the AHL. He played three games with Laval before missing the remainder of the season with migraines.

Last season, he managed 13 games with the Laval Rocket but that was it. He started the year by playing 12 games but was then out of the lineup for about four months. He finally returned in the middle of March, played one game and then the league was suspended and ultimately canceled the rest of its season.

Now, having played just 20 games since November of 2018, the Habs had to decide whether to give him a roster spot to begin the season, or try to slide him through waivers. If he passes waivers, he could go down to the Laval Rocket and try to find his game once again. If he has the time to do that, we could see him build things back up and force his way onto the Canadiens roster by the end of the season.

As a right shot defenceman, there is tough competition from Shea Weber and Jeff Petry, but that third spot on the right side is up for grabs. It looks like Alexander Romanov will start the year there, but he is a left shot who will be looking to push himself up the lineup on the left side in the near future.

Juulsen has the talent and potential to be on an NHL roster at this point. However, injuries have derailed that promising career. Will another team see that potential and decide to claim him? It very well could happen.

However, the team that claims him would have to believe he deserves an NHL spot right now. They can’t just claim him and then send him to the minors. He would need to pass through waivers unclaimed before he gets sent down. He can’t even be placed on a taxi squad as he would need to go through waivers unclaimed before he would be eligible for that designation.

It will be interesting to see if someone decides to take a chance on Juulsen. There is still a lot of potential that the 23 year old can turn into a regular NHL defender. However, after missing most of the past two seasons, will a team want him on their NHL roster right now?

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Losing him for nothing would sting, but with such a deep stable of blue liners, it didn’t make any sense to keep Juulsen on the Canadiens roster to begin the season. They had no choice but to put him on waivers, let’s just hope he sneaks through and can try to rebuild a promising career with the Laval Rocket.