Injured American hockey league winger Aaron Palushaj was put waivers by the Montreal Canadiens the other day in order to send him down to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Colorado Avalanche pounced on that and claimed the 23 year old forward.
Palushaj wasn't likely to make the Habs this year, with prospects like Brendan Gallagher leapfrogging him on the depth chart, but he was a very important veteran AHL scorer on a young Bulldogs team.
Palushaj is a solid puck possession player when given favourable competition to work against, but his scoring touch hasn't yet translated to the NHL level. His 1 goal and 4 assists in 41 NHL games aren't indicative of him being able to be a top 9 player, but he could surprise.
After being a near point per game player for the last two seasons in the AHL, Palushaj got off to a terrible start in Hamilton, with just 10 points in 21 games so far. Not entirely surprising with the lack of offensive punch the Bulldogs have had overall.
The waiver claim by Colorado all but ensures that the top 2 call ups for the Canadiens this year are Michael Blunden and Louis Leblanc. Hopefully Leblanc will sort out his ankle injury and be ready to go in case of injury to an offense minded player.