With an injury to Artturi Lehkonen and an illness to Alexander Radulov, the Canadiens have recalled forward Charles Hudon from the St. John’s Ice Caps in the AHL. The speedy left winger/centre is leading the AHL in goals with nine and currently sits at 4th in the league for points.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) November 17, 2016
Since his rookie year, Charles Hudon has always been among his teams’ leading scorers. He has found instant chemistry with Nikita Scherbak as well. Despite the poorly, anti-hockey coached system from head coach Sylvain Lefebvre, Hudon has consistently been able to find the back of the net with ease.
Hudon made his NHL debut with the big club last December when the team was flooded with injuries. He played a total of three games and managed two assists and was a plus-2 during that short stint. Shortly thereafter, he was sent back down. His time in the AHL has developed him into a highly skilled player who would be beneficial to the team when they need him. With numerous call ups to players such as Daniel Carr and Sven Andrighetto, fans were beginning to wonder if Hudon was ever going to get his chance. The hashtag “FreeHudon” even circled around Twitter for a short period of time.
Charles Hudon with a laser beam to pick up his AHL-leading 9th goal: pic.twitter.com/IxOoYUEpQy
— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) November 16, 2016
Although most fans are excited about this move, there is some speculation that since Hudon has never been given a fair shake from the Habs coaching staff and that perhaps the 22-year old is being showcased as trade bait. Most of this stems from the tweet from Eric Engels that said the Habs are potentially pursuing Martin Hanzal from Arizona. All of this is merely speculation at this point and fans should just be optimistic that this young kid is finally getting his chance.
Hudon’s play will determine whether or not he is sent down once Radulov and Lehkonen do return to the lineup. Hudon excelling offensively is both dependent on how well we know he can play his game and how Michel Therrien chooses to use him. Should his play exceed expectations, we could see Carr or Andrighetto head back down while Hudon stays with the big club.
Hudon will travel to Carolina and is expected to draw into the lineup against the Hurricanes. Where he fits in the lineup is still undetermined at this point. I would assume that either Carr, Andrighetto, Terry or David Desharnais are the ones who sit out in favour of him.
The Canadiens play Friday in Carolina at 7:30 PM ET and then fly back to Montreal for their contest against the Leafs Saturday night at 7:00.