Ryan Poehling Out With Concussion
Poehling was originally a first round pick, 25th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. He appeared in one game last year where he scored a hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 6’2″ centre scored 75 points in 107 games with St. Cloud State at the NCAA level. Poehling was also tremendous in international play. He pitched in eight points in seven games for the USA U20 team at the 2018-19 junior championships. He entered this year as one of Montreal’s more exciting prospects.
Poehling was in a position to fight for a roster spot prior to his injury. The hat trick at the end of 2018-19 was a great start but he showed that it wasn’t just a fluke when he won several face-offs and contributed an assist to Montreal’s 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. His concussion means he could miss a significant portion of the remaining pre-season and an unknown number of regular season games.
What This Means
Montreal could certainly have looked at Poehling as a bottom-six option for this season. The team will look at 34-year-old Nate Thompson as the primary centre for the fourth line. Nick Cousins could also slide over and play centre if the need arises. The Canadiens’ forward depth is strong enough that losing Poehling won’t hurt but it is a shame the prospect goes down at this time.
Poehling’s absence gives top prospect Nick Suzuki a chance to force his way onto the opening roster. Suzuki was drafted in the same class as Poehling. He has had a great start to his preseason with two assists in last night’s 5-4 win over Florida.The Canadiens will also be without wing Michael McCarron for six weeks with a groin injury.
MONTREAL, QC – APRIL 06: Ryan Poehling #25 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates a shootout goal with teammates on the bench against the Toronto Maple Leafs in his first career NHL game at the Bell Centre on April 6, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)