The Montreal Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin had to make a decision regarding prospect Louis Leblanc as he would become a RFA on July 1st. Instead of keeping the young 23-year old forward, the Habs brass moved the former 2009 first round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional 5th round pick in 2015. Per Renaud Lavoie, Habs will receive the 5th round pick if Leblanc plays 15 games with the Ducks next season.
Bergevin had this to say on the transaction, “After three seasons with the Canadiens organization we felt that moving forward the best option for Louis and our organization was to give him the opportunity to pursue his career with another team. Throughout his entire stay with our organization Louis showed great professionalism and a constant desire to improve. We thank him for his contribution and wish him success for the continuation of his career.”
The Canadiens selected Louis Leblanc 18th overall in the 2009 draft that was held in Montreal. He was the first francophone to be picked by Montreal since Eric Chouinard in 1998. At the end of July 2010, Leblanc would sign his first professional contract and make his debut for the Habs on November 30th, 2011 against the Anaheim Ducks. His first point was an assist against the latest Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings, and marked his first NHL goal against the Philadelphia Flyers; both occurring in December of that year.
Leblanc has posted 68 points (34 goals, 34 assists) and 146 penalty minutes in 163 AHL games for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Additionally, he has appeared in 50 NHL games, putting up 5 goals and 5 assists with 32 penalty minutes and a +4 rating.
Unfortunately for Louis, his time within the Habs organization has not always been on the positive side for a number of reasons. Whether you look at the split time between the NHL and AHL, the high ankle sprain injury that set him back, the early cut from camp into the 2013-14 season and of course, when his girlfriend took to Twitter to bash the organization – it could have been better. There is still room for Leblanc to make the NHL and become a permanent resident within the league but his skating has declined as well as what appeared as his overall fitness. He needs to add more muscle and get back that hunger.
With that being said, see ya Louis we hardly knew ye. Good luck in California.