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Justin Barron emerging as a legitimate NHL defenceman

With yet another young blue-liner showing his NHL-readiness, could we see some veterans on the move?

Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The denizens of tank nation will understandably be upset by the Montreal Canadiens’ win over the New Jersey Devils. It must be said, without the brilliance of Samuel Montembeault, they’d likely have been on the wrong side of a barn burner. But notwithstanding the highway robbery, there were some encouraging signs to distract one from the two points gained, if you’re not into those.

Most notably, the development of Justin Barron this season suggests a bright future on the Montreal blue line.

Despite not making the opening night roster as a number of other young defencemen, Barron showed constant improvement in Laval before earning a shot with the big club. Since then, it has been the same story, continuing to improve and presenting a legitimate case to be on the ice for the season opener next time around.

Injuries may have forced the team’s hand a little, but it’s somewhat of a blessing in disguise that they’re learning just what Barron is capable of in the NHL. If Kent Hughes had been holding back at all from trading a veteran defender ahead of the deadline, you have to wonder if the progression of his young players changes that.

Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris, and Barron have now shown real NHL potential. With even more prospects like Logan Mailloux, Lane Hutson, and Adam Engstrom on their way, the team is looking quite deep for the future at the point. Mattias Norlinder and William Trudeau happen to be putting together nice seasons of their own in Laval, so the desire to hold on to aging defencemen should be non-existent if it was an issue before.

There is enough young talent in the pipeline or already in the NHL to facilitate a move. Hopefully Kent Hughes agrees with this line of thinking, because we know what he was able to do with Ben Chiarot last year.


Bottom Six Minutes!

Most of this episode is about exactly the text of this article. Sure the Habs stole two points they don’t need, but the recent performances, last night included, could help make the Habs a little more active than they’ve been rumoured to be when the deadline comes.

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