The Winnipeg Jets made an interesting move last weekend as they were trimming down their roster for opening night.
Winnipeg moved defenseman, Johnathan Kovacevic to waivers for purpose of reassignment to the Manitoba Moose. Many people did not believe the six-foot-four-inch defenseman would clear waivers and that is exactly what happened.
The Montreal Canadiens claimed the Jets’ former 2017 third-round draft choice off waivers and picked up his contract that expires at the end of the 2024-2025 season which has an average annual value of $766,667.
Kovacevic then was named as one of 23 players in the Canadiens’ season opening roster and was named in the Canadiens opening night lineup.
Former Winnipeg Jets Defensemen, Johnathan Kovacevic played a considerable role in the Montreal Canadiens’ opening night win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kovacevic’s first Canadiens game was a tough task as he and the Canadiens were up against the Maple Leafs, who are Montreal’s biggest rival and have one of the best offenses in the NHL which features Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
This was a great contest to open the season. The Leafs and Canadiens traded goals throughout and were tied 3-3 in the final minute of regulation. The game looked destined for overtime, but Josh Anderson scored with 19 seconds left to seal the 4-3 win for the Canadiens.
Although Kovacevic did not have any points in his Canadiens debut, he showed his worth as a defensive defenseman. The twenty-four-year-old had 19:06 in the win, which was fourth most among all Canadiens’ defensemen.
Kovacevic played an extremely important role on Montreal’s penalty kill. Kovacevic played 3:00 on the PK which went four-for-four in the win.
In all, Kovacevic played extremely well in his Montreal debut. He provided value as a second-pair defenseman and penalty killer. He can prove to be a really smart waiver pickup by the Canadiens.
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Among other former Winnipeg Jets players from last year’s roster that were in action last night, Paul Stastny had one assist in his Carolina Hurricanes’ debut as the Hurricanes beat the Blue Jackets 4-1.