Juulsen Claimed Off Waivers After Being Waived by Montreal
The 2021 NHL season begins on January 13th. The Florida Panthers have claimed defenseman Noah Juulsen off of waivers after he was waived by the Montreal Canadiens. The 23-year-old played in 44 games across two seasons for the Canadiens in his young NHL career.
Juulsen was drafted out of Surrey, British Columbia in 2015 by the Canadiens. He is a two-way defender who is able to force plays. Juulsen also plays with a chip on his shoulder and is not afraid to take a hit to make a play.
On the negative, the 23-year-old has a tendency to overthink things. More playing time will surely lessen this tendency. Playing with defensemen like Radko Gudas and Keith Yandle will help Juulsen learn the tricks of playing defense at the NHL level. The team gave up five more expected goals against, according to Hockey Reference. The Panthers were third-worst in the league during the 2019-2020 season. This is based on where shots are coming from on the ice.
Florida also claimed 24-year-old Gustav Forsling from the Carolina Hurricanes yesterday. The plan for the Panthers is clearly to get younger on defense in order to compete in the Atlantic division as Anton Stralman and Yandle are both 33 years of age.
Juulsen is one of the players that was cut in order to get the Canadiens roster down to 23 players. Defense was not necessarily a position of need for the Canadiens as the team already had players like Shea Weber and Mike Reilly on the roster. Florida will need to keep the 23-year-old on the roster in order to retain him. Juulsen is only under contract for $700,000 for this season.
This is why the team found Juulsen expendable. The Canadiens lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in six games in the first round of the playoffs in 2020. Jeremy Ridgewell previously wrote that the Canadiens did defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the return to play format. The team needs to improve its defense in order to advance past the first round in the future.
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