Michael Pezzetta Continues To Sit, While Jesse Ylonen Coasts

Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens
Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the Montreal Canadiens, from the outside looking in it appears that Jesse Ylonen is being auditioned and Michael Pezzetta getting the short end of the stick.

As reported by Montreal Gazette’s Habs beat writer Stu Cowan, Pezzetta sat for his eighth straight game on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Meanwhile, Ylonen continues playing in games and contributing very little. It seems that Ylonen is getting the playing time to boost his trade value, but his uninspiring game of late has done little to draw trade attention.

It’s becoming increasingly problematic the way Ylonen continues to struggle, without any consequence. He continues to play, while Pezzetta sits in the pressbox watching. The decision hasn’t exactly sat well with the Habs brass. 

With his lack of production and anything else, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was placed on waivers if Kent Hughes isn’t able to move him. Surely Pezzetta, while he doesn’t move the needle on the statistics sheet, would create some energy. His bruising, hard-hitting style is just what the fourth line could use. 

It’s truly sad to see Ylonen struggle when you consider that his game away from the puck has improved. He also has great speed and a heavy, accurate shot, but he seldom uses it. Emil Heineman, in my eyes, has already surpassed Ylonen, and next year I think he will prove to be the better player.

Ylonen isn’t skilled enough to fit in the top six and isn’t physical enough for the bottom six. Time is passing us by and Ylonen appears to be falling off the train. It’s likely only a matter of time before he gets waived.

I don't think it would make sense to give up on him so soon, but it is what it is if he gets claimed. Otherwise, some time with the Rocket, at the very least to finish off the season could provide him with the confidence boost that he needs. But it feels like he will depart the organization in July.

I once believed that he had top-nine upside, but for whatever reason it hasn't worked out. Which is fairly obvious, considering I am pulling for Pezzetta, someone whose ceiling is fourth line in the NHL, to play over him. But such is the situation, and with Pezzetta you know exactly what you're going to get, which is more than can be said for Ylonen.

It's far from clear what the Canadiens will do with the former 2018 35th overall selection.