NEWS: Montreal Canadiens claim Johnathan Kovacevic off waivers

Sep 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Johnathan Kovacevic. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Johnathan Kovacevic. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

News: Montreal Canadiens claim Johnathan Kovacevic off waivers

The Montreal Canadiens held the first spot on the waiver wire, and as teams around the league continue to trim down their rosters, they had the pick of the litter when it came to players on the waiver wire.

In a roster move on Saturday, the team went out and claimed Johnathan Kovacevic from the Winnipeg Jets. He is a 25-year-old Canadian-born defender who has logged all of four NHL games in the NHL.

While he’s not a seasoned veteran, he was a former third-round selection from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft who will provide some extra help on the team’s back end. It may not be an eye-popping move or a name that sticks out, but it allows for some depth at the minimum.

The Habs group of defensemen is thin, so adding the extra body should allow them to do well. Kovacevic has played four games for the Jets, registering just seven shots without collecting a point.

However, Kovacevic had a solid performance with the Jets’ AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. The right-handed shooting defender logged 62 games with Manitoba, where he scored 11 goals and added 19 assists for 30 total points.

Montreal Canadiens add Jonathan Kovacevic for depth on defense.

It’s like taking a flier with Kovacevic, who the team is likely going to hope benefits from a change of scenery. It may not be the most exciting move or one that allows them to add in a defender. Veteran Joel Edmundsson is slated to miss some time after being “sidelined indefinitely” with his back injury.

This leaves room in the core for another player to step up. While the Habs already have players like Jordan Harris, who are aiming to take more prominent roles this season, adding in Kovacevic allows them to throw another body into the mix.

He’s still on the younger side with a chance to settle in. He has the chance to find some success in a new home. For the Habs, they are likely hoping that he can tap into some of the offense he showed in the minors last season with the Manitoba while with the Jets organization.

For a player the Habs got for nothing, it’s not the worst-case scenario, and with such a high spot on the waiver wire list, this may not be the only chance. They may have the opportunity to pick up another body if they see someone who fits the mold of what they are looking to add.

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