Canadiens call up defenceman Jayden Struble from AHL’s Laval Rocket

Forward Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and defenceman Arber Xhekaj both won’t make road trip with team to California because of injuries.

The Canadiens announced Monday morning that they have placed forward Rafaël Harvey-Pinard on the injured-reserve list and called up defenceman Jayden Struble from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Harvey-Pinard has missed the last two games and five of the last eight with a lower-body injury. He has no goals and four assists in the 13 games he has played.

You are reading: Canadiens call up defenceman Jayden Struble from AHL’s Laval Rocket

Defenceman Arber Xhekaj, who missed Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Bruins in Boston with an upper-body injury, wasn’t on the ice for practice Monday and neither was defenceman Jordan Harris, who played in Boston but missed the previous two games with an upper-body injury.

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Xhekaj is still listed as day-to-day, but he won’t travel with the team to California for its three-game road trip this week and neither will Harvey-Pinard. The Canadiens said Monday was a therapy day for Harris and he will make the trip to California. The first game of the road trip is Wednesday against the Ducks in Anaheim (10 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens have a 7-9-2 record after losing their last four games.

Struble was on the ice with the Canadiens for practice Monday morning in Brossard wearing No. 47 and also wearing a neck guard.

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Struble has 1-5-6 totals and 29 penalty minutes in 12 games with the Rocket. The Canadiens selected the 6-foot, 205-pound defenceman in the second round (46th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. He joined the Rocket at the end of the 2022-23 season after completing his fourth and final year at Northeastern University.

Struble displayed his impressive athletic abilities at the 2019 NHL Combine in Buffalo, finishing first in the bench press, grip strength (with both hands), the standing long jump and one of two Wingate Cycle Ergometer tests. He is a good all-around athlete who played basketball, lacrosse, baseball and hockey as a kid growing up in Rhode Island. He was a first baseman with the Cumberland Americans team that went to the 2014 Little League World Series. Struble said playing so many sports helped him develop things like hand-eye co-ordination and agility.

Struble and Harris were teammates for three seasons at Northeastern.

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