Canadiens award Logan Mailloux with NHL call-up for game 82

Logan Mailloux has been a bright spot on the Laval Rocket bluelline and Martin St. Louis has taken notice.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

On the night of his birthday, Montreal Canadiens 2021 first round draft selection received the news that he had been called up ahead of the team's final game of the season.

The announcement isn't surprising, considering how well Mailloux has adapted to professional hockey. Down with the Laval Rocket all year, the Belle River, ON., native has put in a solid debut season and, more impressive is that he didn't have a ton of playing time in the junior ranks. Certainly, he has had some obstacles, mostly in his gap control and defending the rush against bigger and faster opposition, but he has done considerably well.

When Justin Barron got called up, I questioned why it wasn't Mailloux in his place, since Barron had his opportunity but needed some seasoning with the Rocket. Mailloux, however, has just stuck to his game and done all he can to help Laval push for a playoff spot. The recently turned 21-year-old has firmly asserted himself as one of the Habs top defence prospects and he will likely make a hard push for the Canadiens opening night roster come October.

Lane Hutson made his debut on Monday night in Michigan against the Detroit Red Wings and now heading back home for the second half of a home-and-home series, Mailloux will join him in making his Bell Centre debut. For Mailloux, his call-up to Montreal directly correlates to his maturity, growth and ability to right his wrongs and prove remorseful for his prior actions.

The NHL had to clear him to play before he could make his debut and they announced this morning that they believe he is aware of his actions and prepared to make better decisions in the future. Mailloux and the league's commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly have been in communication throughout the 2023-24 campaign and he has proven worthy of the decision. The decision wasn't taken lightly and I expect that he will be grateful for the decision the NHL made.

Via the club's X (Formerly Twitter) account, the Canadiens announced that Mailloux will sport No. 94. He will join an exciting group of under 25 defensemen to play for the Canadiens over the past two seasons. A group including Kaiden Guhle, Barron, Jayden Struble, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj and Lane Hutson.

Mailloux finished off his OHL career in London with the Knights, pacing the league's defensemen in goals with 25. He was also recognized as a second-team all-star while sharpening his defence tools under the tutelage of Mark and Dale Hunter. He picked up where he left off this season in the American Hockey League, earning an invite to the all-star game, and scoring 14-33-47 through 70 games.

The shot he possesses, paired with his great edges and quick feet make him an enticing future addition to the Habs' blueline. Like Hutson, Mailloux is wired to produce offence and aside from Mike Matheson on the 2023-24 Habs defence, no defender creates offence like the two rookies. If the Habs want to increase their goals next season, adding production to the blueline will be a big help.