Montreal’s training camp roster was reduced by one on Saturday as the Habs announced that winger Jesse Ylonen has been sent to Laval.
The move shouldn’t come as much surprise as while there is a spot or two available on the fourth line, that’s not an ideal spot for a prospect who is more known for his goal-scoring ability than his two-way game and getting top minutes with the Rocket is better for his development than six-to-eight minutes in Montreal. Ylonen managed to play in three preseason games and was held off the scoresheet while recording four shots and a minus-two rating.
The remaining cuts will be determined based on two factors – LTIR structure and injuries. The first is trying to put a roster that’s as close to the cap ceiling (following an offseason LTIR placement) as possible before doing their other LTIR placements. The idea behind that is maximizing their overall LTIR pool, allowing for as much in-season wiggle room as possible. This also means that their season-opening roster may not be the roster they actually start with on Wednesday.
The second will be determined by who is able to start the season and who is heading for injured reserve. Sami Niku (concussion) returned to practice today so he could be available for Wednesday’s opener while Cedric Paquette (lower body) is expected to practice on Monday. If both are available, more cuts will be needed. Mike Hoffman is still a week or two away and will likely go on IR while Mattias Norlinder hasn’t resumed skating and is likely heading for cap-exempt season-opening IR.
Montreal is currently still carrying three goalies so there is likely to be a cut coming there with Cayden Primeau being waiver-exempt. Otherwise, it appears they’ll have eight defencemen (if Niku is ready) and 14 forwards (if Paquette is ready), meaning one more skater may need to be cut in the coming days, barring any other roster moves being made.