Ryan Poehling Returns To Face Montreal Canadiens After Finding Footing In NHL

Mar 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Ryan Poehling (25) celebrates his
Mar 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Ryan Poehling (25) celebrates his / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens are down to their final 11 games of the regular season. They just wrapped up a five game road trip out west and will now play five consecutive games at home.

That stint starts tonight with a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are surprisingly holding down a playoff spot at the moment, a huge improvement from last year's team that was near the bottom of the NHL standings with the Canadiens last season.

While he is not playing the most important role on the team. former Montreal Canadiens draft pick Ryan Poehling has carved out a full time role on the Flyers this season and is helping them in their push for the playoffs.

Poehling was a first round pick of the Canadiens in 2017 and had an impressive college hockey career with St. Cloud State. Poehling played one game with the Canadiens to close out the 2018-19 season, and scored a hat trick, and then split the next three seasons with the Canadiens and Laval Rocket.

He showed a promising two way game with the Rocket, but didn't really break out with the Canadiens at the NHL level. He was eventually included in a Jeff Petry trade, shipped to the Pittsburgh Penguins with Mike Matheson coming to Montreal in return.

Poehling played one season in Pittsburgh, scored seven goals and 14 points in 53 games. He was not given a qualifying offer after that season and became a free agent before signing with the Flyers for one season and $1.4 million.

He has played well this season, suiting up as the team's fourth line center, playing great defensively, helping out on the penalty kill where he has a big role and he has also put up 10 goals and 25 points in 68 games. He has already signed a contract extension for the next two seasons with a cap hit of $1.9 million.

Poehling won't be the Canadiens primary focus in pregame meeting, but he has solidified himself as a trusted defensive center and penalty killer who is scoring at a 30 point pace from the fourth line. The 25 year old took some time to find his footing, but he is showing this season he could still develop into a two-way third line center at the NHL level.