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Montreal Canadiens send Ryan Poehling to the Laval Rocket

The centre will get a chance to get big minutes in Laval.

NHL: OCT 01 Preseason - Canadiens at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hours before their first game of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens have sent forward Ryan Poehling to the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League.

The move comes after Cédric Paquette returned from his injury, and Adam Brooks was claimed off waivers. The Canadiens had 15 forwards on their opening day roster announced on Monday.

This would allow them to take Sami Niku off of injured reserve should they want to. The current roster only has six healthy defenceman on it.

Poehling was one of several players fighting for a fourth centre spot on the team, including Paquette, Mathieu Perreault, and now Brooks. Poehling is the only one of the group that doesn’t require waivers. He’s also the one with the most potential.

With the Rocket starting their season on Friday night, he will have a chance to be their go-to centre. He will get big minutes at even strength, on the power play, and killing penalties. He would likely be a serviceable fourth line centre right now, but to become more than that, time in Laval will do him good.