Montreal Canadiens rookie winger Cole Caufield has been sent down to the American Hockey League after a difficult start to the season for the team and player. The Canadiens are 2-8 through the first 10 games of the season. Caufield has no goals, one assist and 22 shots on goal in those 10 games.
Expectations were higher for him based on last season. He won the Hobey Baker Award while at the University of Wisconsin, signifying him as the top player in U.S. College Hockey. He produced 52 points (30 G, 22 A) in 31 games for the Badgers before turning pro. He scored three goals and an assist in two AHL games for Laval last season. Caufield then went on to contribute 17 points (8 G, 9 A) in 30 games between regular season and playoffs last season.
Caufield was one of the favourites for the Calder Trophy coming into this season, in part because he was expected to have a chance to play on Montreal’s top line along with first-unit power play time.
This does not mean that Caufield will not pan out as a prospect. Max Pacioretty, for example, was sent down to the American Hockey League after having played in the NHL, and returned as one of the premier goal-scoring wingers in the game.
Cole Caufield will get the chance to build up his confidence. Maybe when he is ready to come back to the NHL, the Canadiens will be in position to support him more effectively.
CANADA HOCKEY NOW
Vancouver: Travis Hamonic still needs a shot but he is ready to play for the Canucks. Jack Rathbone was sent to the AHL to make room.
Montreal: Cedric Paquette was suspended two games for boarding Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras.
Vancouver: Tyler Motte is ready to return to the Canucks lineup, too, following offseason neck surgery.
Calgary: Jacob Markstrom is the first star of the week. Ottawa’s Drake Batherson and Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn were also stars.
NHL NEWS AND NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
NHL: Commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference Monday to discuss the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal. It did not go well.
New York: Rangers defenceman, and reigning Norris Trophy winner, Adam Fox signed a seven-year, $66.5 million contract extension with the Blueshirts.
San Jose: Sharks winger Kevin Labanc is the latest to be added to the team’s Covid protocols. The Sharks are dealing with an outbreak that hit seven players plus head coach Bob Boughner.
Pittsburgh: Penguins defenceman Kris Letang has cleared Covid protocols and is taking cardio tests, with an eye towards returning to action Wednesday.
Boston: David Pastrnak is ‘looking to feel comfortable’ after a slow Bruins start.
Chicago: Patrick Kane returned to the Blackhawks lineup and recorded a hat trick to lead the way to Chicago’s first win of the season.
NHL Trade Talks: Hague, Lindholm, Manson and more defencemen that could move. (ToHN+)
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