Montreal Canadiens submit qualifying offers to six players
Montreal Canadiens Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) reacts after scoring the winning goal on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) during the first overtime NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens announced that they submitted qualifying offers to six players on Monday.
They are forwards Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Michael Pezzetta and Ryan Poehling, defenceman Otto Leskinen and goalie Michael McNiven.
In 56 games with the Habs in 2020-2021, Kotkaniemi tallied five goals and 20 points. The 21-year-old centre has added five goals and eight points in 19 playoff games.
Lehkonen provided seven goals and 20 points in 47 games last season. He added three goals and four points in 17 playoff games. He also scored the game-winning goal in Game 6 against Vegas, sending his team to the Stanley Cup Final.
Pezzetta played 20 games with the Laval Rocket (AHL), recording two goals and five points.
In his second season in the pros, Poehling led the Rocket with 25 points in 28 games. The forward set personal bests in goals (11), assists (14) and points in the AHL.
Leskinen led Rocket defencemen with 16 assists and 17 points in 33 games with Laval. He played one game with the Habs on April 10. Leskinen signed a two-year contract with Jokerit in Finland. By submitting an offer, the Habs retain his rights should he return to North America.
McNiven played 13 games for the Rocket, posting a 7-3-3 record and a 2.59 GAA. The Winnipeg native posted one shutout.
- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on July 26, 2021.