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New Hab Lars Eller aims to make the the team out of training camp

Image (1) Eller-thumb-250x196-14145.jpg for post 2164

I’m sure that most Montreal Canadien fans are still a bit bitter over the Habs’ decision to stick with Carey Price instead of handing Jaroslav Halak a big contract extension. After all, Halak was the goaltender that claimed the starting position and helped lead the Canadiens to the brink of the Stanley Cup finals.

To help ease the sting of that trade, the Canadiens are receiving the Blues’ top prospect in Lars Eller, a talented Danish forward who made a great impression during his first season in North America. The 13th overall pick for the Blues in 2007, he had 18 goals and 57 points in 70 games for the Peoria Rivermen last season at 21 years old, and seems poised to be ready to make the full time jump to the NHL next season after appearing in seven games last year for the Blues.

It’s likely he’ll start off in the AHL, unless he forces his way onto the roster in training camp, but it won’t be long before he’s making his debut before the Montreal crowd. Judging by Pierre Gauthier’s comments yesterday, that appears to be the early plan.

Of course, Eller is approaching the offseason with the intent of starting the season with the Canadiens. From Jeremy Rutherford:

“That was my goal in St. Louis, to make that club this year. I’m going to have the same mindset coming into Montreal. I know that Montreal has a big fan base and there are big expectations for the team and the players as well. But I put pressure on myself. I see this in a positive way.”

The Habs will certainly give Eller the chance to make the team, especially after trading away Halak to acquire him, and the big and talented center should be a big part of the future of this team. There’s a reason he was so highly regarded three years ago before even playing above the junior level in the SEL.

I understand that Habs fans are angry over this trade, but getting Eller coming the other way should be more than just a consolation prize.