With a big list of cuts expected tomorrow with Laval’s training camp starting on Monday, the Habs signalled who four of those will be as they placed forwards Lucas Condotta and Mitchell Stephens plus defensemen Nicolas Beaudin and Brady Keeper on waivers on Saturday.
Of the four players, Condotta was the only one who saw any NHL action last season as he scored in the final game of the regular season. He also was the only player to suit up in all 72 games with the Rocket where he picked up 16 goals and 15 assists. That helped him earn a two-year, two-way deal from the Habs in the summer as they feel he still has some NHL potential.
Stephens will be going into his second year with the Rocket if he goes unclaimed. Last season, he got off to a slow start but found his footing, eventually becoming a key part of their push to the playoffs. The 26-year-old finished with 20 goals and 21 assists in 68 games but was injured for the postseason. He has a total of 72 career NHL games under his belt between Tampa Bay and Detroit and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.
As for the blueliners, Beaudin was acquired early last season in a trade with Chicago that saw Cam Hillis go the other way. The 23-year-old was a first-round pick in 2018 but hasn’t had much success in his limited NHL action. He was, however, productive in Laval, picking up 25 points in 39 games following the swap, earning him another look.
Keeper came to the Canadiens back in July as an unrestricted free agent, inking a one-year, two-way deal. He missed all of 2021-22 due to injury and was limited to just 35 games last season with Abbotsford where he had a goal and five assists. He’s likely set to play a similar role with Laval as David Savard does with Montreal, be a physical veteran that covers some hard minutes shorthanded.
Stephens, Beaudin, and Keeper all cleared waivers last season and there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to this time around as well. All four players will be on waivers until 2 PM ET on Saturday.