Montreal Canadiens: Joel Teasdale Making Up For Lost Time With Laval Rocket

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 19: Joel Teasdale. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 19: Joel Teasdale. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospect Joel Teasdale has battled through a lot of adversity since joiing the Habs organization.

The left winger missed all of last season after suffering a knee injury preparing for his first taste of AHL action. Then, what should have been his second season, was delayed for months as the AHL tried to determine how to safely navigate a season in the midst of a pandemic.

Finally, on February 12, roughly 16 months after he should have made his AHL debut, Teasdale suited up for the Laval Rocket for the first time. He was excellent in that game, hitting everything that moved on the forecheck and he scored a goal and an assist.

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It was the first competitive game Teasdale played since he was named won the Memorial Cup and was named MVP of the tournament in May of 2019. So, after 20 months off, he scored two points in his first ever pro game. It was an impressive debut, but it was also understandable when he failed to repeat that performance in the next few games.

Teasdale, who turned 22 earlier this month, went pointless in his next seven games after his debut. Since then, he’s been one of the Laval Rocket’s best and most consistent players.

The gritty, two-way winger has found a nice, comfortable role on a great do-it-all line with Ryan Poehling at centre and Joe Blandisi on the right wing. Since finding a little chemistry with his new linemates, Teasdale has scored five goals, five assists and ten points in his last nine games.

This trio has taken on a huge role for the Rocket, shutting things down in their own end and consistently creating offence with a great cycle and ability to attack the net with the puck. Blandisi is leading the team in scoring with 15 points, Poehling has matched last year’s total with 13 points in half as many games as his first season, and Teasdale is showing exactly what he did in Junior, hockey sense, offence and an unparalleled work ethic.

After signing with the Canadiens in September of 2018, Teasdale went out and scored 43 goals and 80 points in his final QMJHL season. He led the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to a QMJHL championship by leading the team with 34 points in 20 playoff games and then won the MVP at the Memorial Cup, leading his team to victory there as well.

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He looked like a really good prospect leaving Junior. It’s a shame that injury and a virus have led to him going 21 months between his final Junior game and his AHL debut. However, Teasdale is making up for lost time now with his exceptional all-around game for the Laval Rocket.