The Habs have decided to let Mattias Norlinder continue his development at home as they announced on Thursday that he has been assigned back to Frolunda of the SHL while they’ve also recalled Cayden Primeau to start tonight against Philadelphia.
Norlinder played in six games with Montreal this season, a start that was delayed due to an injury suffered early in the preseason. However, his ice time was limited to just over 12 minutes a game and a young defender shouldn’t be playing that little. The 21-year-old became eligible to go to Laval after December 1st and played heavy minutes in their three games last week but his preference was to go back to Sweden over staying in the minors.
It’s worth noting that while Norlinder is burning the first year of his entry-level deal this season, it’s not an entire waste. Had he stayed in Sweden this year and signed for 2022-23, his entry-level deal would have only been for two seasons. This way, they were able to give him a look in North America with the only real cost being a contract slot out of the limit of 50. It’s also possible (though likely not probable) that he could return to North America if the Habs or Rocket are still playing once his SHL campaign comes to an end.
As for Primeau, he will be given a reward for his strong play with the Rocket as of late with the start against the Flyers tonight. To make room for him on the roster, defenceman Corey Schueneman was sent back to Laval, a welcome addition for them with Norlinder now leaving.