Everyone’s favourite Montreal Canadien is set to join the big organization with Jesperi Kotkaniemi being placed on the IR after suffering a groin injury on Sunday. The Finnish centreman missed the Canadiens game against Dallas as a result of the diagnosed injury.
Poehling has spent the season down in the AHL playing for the Laval Rocket, having a slow start to the season thus far, but currently sits tied for fourth in team scoring with five points in 13 games. Of those five points, three were goals and two were assists.
Poehling, the former first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, shocked the hockey world during the Canadiens final game of the season as he made his debut at the Bell Centre when Montreal played host to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his NHL debut and his first professional game, Poehling scored a hat trick and netted the shootout winner to give his team an incredible victory. That was the only game Poehling has played yet in the NHL.
Poehling will likely be given the opportunity to play on the third line replacing Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Throughout 12 games thus far, Kotkaniemi has scored two goals and added one assist to kick off the season. Despite his stats at this time, his play has been solid and the team has been doing well overall.
Poehling is a strong two-way forward who is reliable at both ends of the ice. Like Kotkaniemi, Poehling has gotten bigger over the past two summers and has become a more physically able player. At both ends of the ice, Poehling can use his size to his advantage as it helps him fend off opposing defenders while also helping outmuscle opposing players to turn over the puck.
After his unbelievable debut last season, many believed that Poehling was a lock for the NHL. In the end, he seemed to be the odd man out with Nick Suzuki making the roster due to his ability to play on the wing. Poehling is positioned as a centreman and the Canadiens are looking to keep it that way.
The roster featured too many centres and Poehling was the odd man out for Montreal as he was eligible to be sent to the AHL without having to deal with the process of clearing waivers. Poehling will try to make the most of his opportunity in the NHL and force the Habs management to keep him up and make some moves to allow him to stay.
The Canadiens return to action on Tuesday night back home at the Bell Centre as they play host to the Boston Bruins with puck drop scheduled for 7:30pmET. The game can be seen on TSN2, RDS and NBCSN, meanwhile, it can be heard on 98,5FM and TSN Radio 690 Montreal.