The Montreal Canadiens and general manager Marc Bergevin had a quiet trade 2019 deadline day. The team decided to make only depth moves and avoided big names on the market or rental players. Christian Folin, Dale Weise and Nate Thompson were among the new faces who joined the team. The Habs made only one trade during trade deadline day on Feb. 25 — the acquisition of center Jordan Weal for Michael Chaput.
The move was intriguing because the Canadiens already had depth and Weal seemed like just another fourth-line player who would add more depth and be scratched from the lineup from time to time. He has played five games with the Canadiens and is doing quite well, scoring a goal during his first game on March 5 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Jordan Weal Fits in the Habs Lineup Perfectly
Weal has played every game since that good start, and he is making an impact on the fourth line. His style of play is perfectly built for the Canadiens’ style. He is fast, good at faceoffs and on the forecheck, has great intensity and has been a big reason why the Habs’ fourth line has improved in the last few games.
His contribution has been excellent, more than what is indicated on the scoresheet. He is not the type of player who will score every night, but he is great at doing the little things that coaches love.
He offers what the Habs were expecting from Matthew Peca when they signed him last summer. Weal has taken Peca’s place in the lineup and no one is sure Peca will get the chance to reclaim his spot before the end of the season. Weal has played very well in every game so far and has now become a player who needs to stay in the Canadiens’ lineup.
What Does the Future Hold For Weal?
Weal will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019, and it will be interesting to see what the Canadiens are planning to do with him. With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, he won’t have a lot of time to prove that they need to re-sign him going into next season. His performance until the end of the season, and in the playoffs if the Canadiens qualify, will have a big impact on the decision.
The Canadiens will be looking to continue the trend they started this season by having a young team with a lot of speed again next season. Weal seems to fit that criteria since he is only 26-years old and brings his share of speed to the bottom-six. So far, he has done everything to prove that he can help the team in the long-term. Questions remain, though.
The Habs are his fourth team since the start of his NHL career, and he has never really had a chance to prove his ability, except for a good period with the Philadelphia Flyers last season, when he appeared in 69 games. In Montreal, he has a great chance in front of him as they head into the final playoff push, where he can become a big part of the Habs’ success and help his team qualify for the postseason.
It seems that no matter what happens in the future, Weal is already proving to the Canadiens that he can be much more than just a fourth-line player. He is the type of player who can fit almost everywhere in the lineup and you can be sure that he will be giving his best no matter who he is playing with. Many fans laughed about this addition on trade deadline day, but Bergevin and the Canadiens knew what they were doing. We can’t really argue against this trade so far, and it has turned out to be a very good one for the Canadiens.