After sitting out the most recent Canadiens game against the Buffalo Sabres, many fans were wondering if Jesperi Kotkaniemi might be better off spending some time with Joël Bouchard and the Laval Rocket.
As it turns out, that is exactly what the organization decided to do.
After a successful rookie season, the 2018 third overall pick has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play. He has six goals and two assists in 36 games this season. He had 11 goals and 23 assists in 79 games a year ago.
Time in Laval will provide Kotkaniemi with an opportunity to regain some confidence in a different environment. If he wasn’t going to play many minutes in Montreal, this is the right move for his development.
The Canadiens sent Cale Fleury down on Friday for the same reason, after he was a healthy scratch for several games. The Rocket play the Belleville Senators on Saturday night at Place Bell, and Kotkaniemi should be expected to be in the lineup.