The Habs made three roster moves on Monday. First, they assigned Cayden Primeau to Laval and Kaiden Guhle back to junior while also claiming Adam Brooks off waivers from Toronto.
Primeau’s assignment was expected with the Canadiens carrying two other healthy goalies on the roster in Jake Allen and Sam Montembeault. Meanwhile, Guhle’s has been anticipated for a while but they needed to see if Sami Niku was fully ready as he works his way back from a concussion. With him healthy now, they appear set to carry eight blueliners to start the season.
As for Brooks, he was an elite point producer in the WHL with seasons of 120 and 130 points in his final two seasons in Regina. While he obviously couldn’t be expected to carry that level of scoring over to the pros, he has been a steady producer in the AHL with the Marlies over the past four seasons as well.
In 2020-21, he split the year between the Marlies and Maple Leafs. In the minors, the 25-year-old had four goals and nine assists in 17 games while in 11 NHL contests, he chipped in with four goals and an assist. Brooks also got into a pair of games in the first round against Montreal.
An undersized centre, Brooks is a curious fit on Montreal’s fourth line but if the Canadiens decide to move Jake Evans into more of a checking role on the fourth line, Brooks has the offensive upside to potentially hold his own on the third line with players like Mike Hoffman and Brendan Gallagher.
Brooks is in the second and final season of a two-year, minimum-salary deal which actually gives him a cap hit ($725,000) that’s below the league minimum of $750,000. He has a couple of RFA-eligible years remaining but he will need to be a regular with the Canadiens this season to avoid meeting the criteria for Group VI unrestricted free agency next summer as he has just 18 career NHL contests under his belt.