Ladder Call: November 2022
It hasn’t been a great season for Laval taking things seriously despite not breaking into their roster with Hab recalls. But that day will eventually come with hits or deals hit, so here’s an overview of the Rocket’s most deserving callbacks based on their performance so far.
1) Anthony Richard Management took a hard look at him in the playoffs when he was one of Syracuse’s most effective players against the Rockets. But he wasn’t a top scorer in the past and really wasn’t expected to be one with Laval this season. However, he went into tonight’s game tied for the league lead in scoring while being one of their most active players. From a development standpoint, calling up the 25-year-old might not seem like the right choice but in terms of who deserves it, it’s certainly Richard.
2) Reem Petlik He hasn’t played much since off waivers and was briefly last week but Pitlick has been impressive with limited action so far. They’ve been giving him some reps in the middle as well and with the struggles of some of their other centers, this is notable if a medium gets hurt from being locked up. I’d like to see Pitlick have a long stay and really try to find some continued success but at the same time, he’ll probably be called up if something happens.
3) Jesse Coloren – No, it didn’t exactly light up but a few did at Laval this season. Ylonen continues to be a capable secondary scorer with Rocket but he’s someone who needs more skilled players to bring out the best in him. At some point, the Cockpit needs to see if he’s going to be a part of their plans for next season and beyond, so one way or another, they’ll have to get a look at him.
4) Lucas Condota – That might sound like a stretch but I think he’s basically done everything he’s been asked to do so far in a limited role and that’s more of an internal call on my part. He doesn’t make too many mistakes and is a safe player who can play with his end and kill penalties. With Michael Pezzetta’s place in the lineup looking out of place at best right now, Kondota might be better off taking that place if they want to make a change where he plays a heavy game without the stupid penalty shootout. For spots higher on the depth chart, the rest (along with Rafael Harvey-Benard) would make more sense, but realistically a spot on the fourth line is the most likely to be available and which may suit Condotta better than the others.
Xavier Simoneau has certainly played well this season but he is under contract with the AHL this year which makes him ineligible for this list. To bring him in, Montreal will have to burn through the first year of his entry-level deal this season which they may not want to do.
1) Justin Barron Expectations were high as this season approached for him. He’s probably pretty high in retrospect when you consider he’s only 21 years old and a defenseman. Overall, this combo screams patience. Baron was hot and cold early on, but he was also the most influential, scoring as many goals as the rest of the Laval back-ends combined. He’s someone management will want to look at anyway but on merit he’s earned the right to be petted when an opportunity presents itself.
2) Corey Schoenman – One of the things I loved about Schueneman last year was that he was very stable on the ice. He didn’t do much but he didn’t make many mistakes either. This has not been the case this year as he is clearly trying to be more active and the results have been mixed. If Montreal wants to call someone up to be a seventh linebacker and take Chris Weidman’s place as the designated incubator who occasionally pitches in, Schoenemann should be the one to take on that role.
3) Otto Leskinen – I can basically take the opposite of Schuenemann and put it here. Leskinen is usually the type of punter who jumps into the play but this season, I’ve noticed a greater willingness to try and make the play smart. Again, the results were mixed. I think that’s a smart approach by Leskinen because it’s his in-zone play that will make or break his NHL chances. Focusing on this makes more sense and those efforts could be rewarded at some point, especially if Montreal has a move or two near the trade deadline.
Heading into the season, several off-season veteran signings should have been on this list. Mitchell Stevens should be their best position and one of the main factors in Laval’s attack but he struggled. Alex Pelzel hasn’t been able to stay healthy while veteran Laval defender Madison Bowie is having a season to forget. If they can turn things around, they’ll find their way to this roster later in the season, and Rocket may be able to pick up a few more wins along the way.
#Ladder #Call #November