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Ryan Poehling to make NHL debut versus the Toronto Maple Leafs

It also appears Charlie Lindgren will get the start for Montreal.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

As the 2018-19 season reaches its conclusion, most Montreal Canadiens fans are thinking about the future, and how a competitive season sets them up for next year.

Tonight, we get a glimpse of one of the players expected to help lead them into the next decade, as Ryan Poehling, fresh off his collegiate career, will make his NHL debut as the fourth-line centre tonight.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi returns to the centre position, where he will be for the rest of his career going forward after a brief period on the wing. The rookie ran out of steam down the stretch, but an off-season of conditioning, knowing what an 82-game grind requires, will set him up for a great sophomore campaign.

In net, Carey Price will finally get a night off, as Charlie Lindgren (potentially the Canadiens’ backup goaltender next season) gets the start in the final game.

Nicolas Deslauriers replaces Paul Byron on the fourth line. Byron will get an early start on his off-season recovery, resting a wrist that has bothered him for some time.

It’s worth noting the players not in the lineup as well. With a chance to give some of the press box regulars one last game, none of Mikey Reilly, Dale Weise, Matthew Peca, and Charles Hudon are dressing, which may indicate their time with the team is at an end. We’ll find out over the next six months what Marc Bergevin wants his 2019-20 squad to look like.