We could be seeing the emergence of Jordan Weal in Montreal.
Since his arrival, he has recorded eight points in 13 games for the Canadiens, which is a huge increase compared to the two he had with the Arizona Coyotes in 19 games, and also an increase in points per game compared to his previous career average of 0.30.
What makes Weal a valuable piece for Montreal in this ongoing playoff race is his ability to consistently make positive plays: the way he finds controlled offensive entries, passing options, and shots on net where most other perceived ‘‘depth players’’ would dump or cycle the puck, forcing their team to battle on the boards and diminish their chance of creating offensively.
The deadline acquisition for the Habs is a skilled player. It didn’t look like it when glossing over his career numbers at the time, but Weal definitely has more than one trick up his sleeve. He is able to fool defenders, knowing how to get an extra step on them and even beat them when all goes right for him. He complements that offensive aspect of his game with a solid defensive impact more often than not.
His two-point performance against the Winnipeg Jets had several examples of the little things he does on the ice that make him so useful for his team, and also why he has earned the trust of Claude Julien to play in all situations.
Weal will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of his current contract. At this point, he has turned into a must-re-sign for Montreal.
The organization should have an influx of young players coming up into their ranks next season, but the soon-to-be 27-year-old represents a reliable option to add depth scoring next year, especially with the fact that he is a right-handed shot.
It’s also apparent that Weal still has untapped potential — he can still be regarded as a type of prospect, too. He was an impact forward in Junior hockey, and if a team continues to give him a chance and believe in him, he could continue blossoming as we’ve been seeing in the past dozen games or so.
He is definitely worth the risk considering he wouldn’t be an expensive option.
Here’s a video breaking down some interesting sequences of the forward in the game against the Winnipeg Jets: