The Montreal Canadiens continued to add some depth to the organization on day two of free agency.
After adding Phillip Maillet and Brady Keeper yesterday, the Canadiens announced the signing of Lias Andersson this afternoon. This signing, which is a one-year, two-way contract with a cap hit of $775,000 at the NHL level, has the potential to become a bigger hit than they other two.
Andersson was drafted 7th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. While he is yet to have an impact at the NHL level, the Swedish center has proven to be an excellent scorer in the American Hockey League.
After three seasons in the Rangers organization, Andersson was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 2020. He played just one game with the Kings last season, instead he stayed the entire year in the AHL with the Ontario Reign. He scored 31 goals and 59 points in 67 games for the Reign, continuing his impressive work at the AHL level.
In his three seasons with the Kings organization, Andersson scored 43 goals and 82 points in 86 games in the AHL. He only played 44 NHL games in that time and had eight points.
The 6’1″ and 185 pound center was a highly touted prospects once upon a time but has not broken out at the NHL level. He is 24 so let’s not close the book on him yet but it is starting to appear unlikely he will ever be a big scorer for an NHL team.
At the very least, he will add a pile of scoring for the Laval Rocket who lost some of their top players to free agency when Anthony Richard signed with the Boston Bruins and Alex Belzile inked a two year contract with the New York Rangers.
The Canadiens management team is quite familiar with Andersson as Jeff Gorton, currently the Habs vice president of hockey operations was the general manager of the Rangers when Andersson was drafted.
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