The Montreal Canadiens have just two games left to play this season, but the Laval Rocket still have plenty to play for. That’s why Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen are down with them right now. But the Canadiens, already shorthanded, need bodies to finish out the regular season. Lucky for Joel Teasdale, he fits the bill and got the call-up earlier today.
If you’re unfamiliar with Joel Teasdale and his story, it’s one of determination that has finally paid off. Teasdale went undrafted and signed as a free agent with the Canadiens following a tremendous junior career in the QMJHL, which ended with a Memorial Cup Victory and being named tournament MVP. Since then, it’s been a much more challenging journey for the 24-year-old, having two major knee surgeries, which cost him significant development time. One glance at his HockeyDB page shows he missed all of the 2019-20 season.
To fast forward to the present day and see Teasdale is set to make his NHL debut on Wednesday versus the Islanders is great to see. Teasdale is one of a few players to become an excellent story for the Canadiens, joining Alex Belzile and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard as undrafted players breaking into the NHL. It remains to be seen how big of a role the 24-year-old will have for the final two regular-season games, but I’d suspect he’ll be on the fourth line, at least to start.
Teasdale has had a solid year for the Rocket this year, putting up 23 goals and 38 points in 57 games. Perhaps he can bring some of that scoring touch to the Canadiens as they close out the season. The forward will likely finish the year with the Canadiens before heading back to Laval to join them for the playoffs if the Rocket can hang on to the final playoff spot in their division. The Rocket have two games left and likely need to win them both, which is probably why Harvey-Pinard and Ylönen are staying down there.
The Habs also recalled defenseman Frédéric Allard from Laval to play in the final two games. Allard has played in just five games for the Rocket since being acquired at the deadline for Nate Schnarr. Allard played in one game for the Canadiens this season, against Vegas, before being sent down to the AHL.