Montreal Canadiens: Watch Highlights From Justin Barron's Impressive Performance In Blowout Win

Jan 10, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Justin Barron
Jan 10, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Justin Barron / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens made their first big trade of the season yesterday. Sean Monahan was shipped to the Winnipeg Jets for a first round pick and a conditional third rounder.

The Canadiens have been sellers since general manager Kent Hughes took over the management team. For most of that time, he hasn't necessarily just targeted draft picks, but wanted to acquire young players who are on the cusp of reaching the NHL.

He has made this type of trade to acquire Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook by shipping out first round picks. He also targeted young almost NHL ready talent when he traded Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche for Justin Barron and a second round pick.

Barron has played 85 games with the Canadiens since the trade, scoring 11 goals and 29 points in that time. His offensive instincts have been on full display, along with his terrific skating stride, since he joined the team.

However, with a logjam of young defenders on the Canadiens roster this season, Barron was recently sent down to the Laval Rocket for a little more seasoning. Though his six goals and 12 points in 41 NHL games this season are fine production for a 22 year old defender, he could use a little more work on the finer aspects of the defensive game.

Barron played his fifth game of the season with the Rocket last night, and his offensive abilities were shining through.

The scoring got started early as Barron picked off a passing attempt by the Rochester Americans at the offensive blue line and quickly turned it into a goal. He stepped up with the puck to the top of the circle, drew two Americans toward him before sliding a perfect pass across the slot. Brandon Gignac one touched the puck back across the ice to the top of the crease where Lias Andersson just directed it into the open goal.

Barron was back on the scoresheet less than four minutes into the game. He carried the puck out of the defensive zone, as he is so good at, and moved it to Gignac as they entered the attacking zone. Barron then followed up on the play, getting open in the slot and received a drop pass from his teammate. From the slot, he ripped a wrist shot over the glove of Americans goaltender Dustin Tokarski.

Barron made another smart play at the offensive blue line in the second period which resulted in the Rocket extending their lead. With Laval on the power play, the puck appeared to be heading out of the attacking zone but Barron used his speed to barely keep the puck in the zone. He then found an open teammate down low as Philippe Maillet collected the pass, moved it to Joshua Roy and the back was in the back of the net in a flash.

No one ever questioned Barron's speed and skill in the attacking zone. Those are the attributes that are going to make him a successful player at the highest level. It is good to see they are helping him dominate at the AHL level.

Now, he just needs to finetune the defensive side before he can reach his great potential for the Canadiens.