Montreal Canadiens Recall Joshua Roy From Laval Rocket, With Josh Anderson Out

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens have been pushing through their second season of the rebuild and with injuries and the trade deadline  about two months away big decisions loom. On Saturday morning the Canadiens made one, calling up first-year pro Joshua Roy from the Laval Rocket.

Roy has been a bright spot for the Rocket for the most part, and even when he was held off the scoresheet, his play away from the puck proved his growth. I have had differing opinions about where Roy should be playing. On one hand, he is a rookie who is still learning the ropes and trying to maintain being consistent, but he has a ton of promise and with the right linemates, some ice time with the Habs shouldn't hurt anything.

Through his first 34 games, Roy has done a bit of everything - from slick passes to crafty dekes and firing laser shots to the back of the net. His plus/minus differential doesn't speak well to his strong start, but it goes beyond that. Of the Rocket's best young talent, Roy is at the top with Arber Xhekaj and Logan Mailloux.

His near point-per-game totals are very impressive, including 12-18-30 totals. The former fifth-round pick has undergone perhaps the most growth of any Canadiens prospect since being selected. After being one of the best young performers at the Habs NHL camp in late September, Roy has been all business.

If a trade is to occur, opening a roster spot in the forward core, Roy could have a huge opportunity to get some NHL playing time. It's rather curious why he has been called up - with Gustav Lindstrom claimed and Emil Heineman back with the Rocket. Heineman had a short stint and now Roy is up, what gives?

I wonder if Joel Armia will take a well-deserved seat so Roy can make his NHL debut. Or is there a possibility that Sean Monahan gets moved? I think it would hurt in the short term, but the long-term gain is too tantalizing to not make the move. Roy can play center but is more suited on the wing, so an Armia healthy scratch seems more likely.

Unless a trade return for Monahan includes a center, the Canadiens would be better served to call up a center. With Christian Dvorak out on injured reserve, the Habs have just four natural centers - Nick Suzuki, Jake Evans, Monahan and Mitchell Stephens. The Habs will need four natural centers to compete, and with Monahan out, another center needs to slot in.

Anyways, the center dilemma is a topic for another day. Roy has earned the call-up, and one can hope that he gets the nod for the game tonight against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Admittedly, it's a big test, but it will be a perfect test for Roy.

Josh Anderson was officially ruled out, just as I was putting the finishing touches on this article. So, it appears Roy is very likely to make his NHL debut on Saturday night.