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He will bend defensively in CH

He will bend defensively in CH

If the Canadian Blue Line’s succession has long been weak, it is far from being the case now. Four of the nine backers participating in the rookie camp could start the season in Montreal.

Justin Barron, Jordan Harris, and Matthias Norlender already have experience in the NHL. To this trio we have to add Kaiden Guhle, who appears to have all the qualities required to take the lead this fall, and Arber Xhekaj, who has been baffling the cards since joining the organization on a simple invite last year.

“For sure there will be struggles and it has already begun,” said Jean-Francois Hall, who has been leading the drills and games since the start of the rookie camp. It is indeed a chance to show off in front of the team’s staff, against youngsters of their age.

Had it not been for an ankle injury that caused him to miss the final three weeks of the season, Barron would currently have been a member of the squad with the most experience with confinement.

“I felt comfortable at the time of my injury. I was happy to take on the responsibilities and play on the massive attack, firing back which I got in return from Artturi Lehkonen. It gave me confidence. It proved to me that I could play in this league.

Harris worked hard

But nothing is guaranteed for the 20-year-old defender, and he himself knows the competition will be fierce.

“Yes, there are vacancies, but there are a lot of good young defenders in this organization,” he admitted.

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One wonders if Barron’s direct competitor would not be Harris. Although he used the left hand, Harris was used on the right in the first game of this rookie tournament.

“I haven’t taken any time outside this summer. We had good team training together in Massachusetts. I want to hack the formation right from the start. The point of all that work, was to support the guy who played 10 games for the Habs at the end of the last campaign.

“I learned a lot at the end of the season,” Harris continued. NHL is different from college. It is a game for mature men. You have to know how to use your power. Big guys play a big part, skaters skate, and skilled players use their skills.”

Shuttle service will be provided

Whatever Joel Edmondson thinks, the stage of Canadian Reconstruction is far from over. And just as when development takes precedence over immediate success, young candidates for defensive positions can navigate well between Montreal and Laval, only to improve some aspects of their play during the season.

I understand the intention behind this decision. “You can play more in MLS,” Barron said.

However, the 20-year-old defender does not seem enthusiastic about the idea.

“My goal is to stay all season in Montreal. Of course, it’s not me who makes the decision. However, I will do everything I can during main camp to prove that I can play for this team.”

For his part, Harris seemed a bit more moderate.

“I will try to control what I can control. I have confidence in what I can do. I want to make the team, but bringing me back to Laval wouldn’t necessarily be a step back.

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It should be remembered that unlike Barron, who played half a season in the MLS, Harris left the league ranks at the end of last March.

Furthermore, Norlender confirmed that, unlike last year, he will remain in North America all season. Either in Montreal or Laval.