The Montreal Canadiens have decided that Cayden Primeau will be the goaltender to replace Keith Kinkaid on the NHL roster. The 20-year old is coming up from the Laval Rocket along with Matthew Peca, giving him an incredible opportunity to establish himself as the primary backup for Carey Price. Kinkaid was placed on waivers earlier today with the intention of sending him to the minor leagues, at least for a few games.
Primeau has skyrocketed up the prospect charts over the last few years, since being a seventh-round pick in 2017. The very last goalie taken that year, he immediately found stardom at Northeastern University and could become just the third netminder from his class to play in an NHL game—Michael Dipietro and Dylan Ferguson have each played a single time.
At Northeastern, Primeau showed that he was more than just a famous hockey name. In his freshman season he was named the Hockey East goaltender of the year and New England rookie of the year after posting a .931 save percentage. If that wasn’t enough, his sophomore season was even better with a .933 save percentage and the Mike Richter trophy for the top goaltender in the entire NCAA. Primeau backstopped Team USA to a World Junior silver medal, and was even included on the roster for the World Championships.
Now, with Kinkaid and Price facing real struggles in the Montreal net, the team will see if Primeau has what it takes to play at this level. While it may not be a permanent solution—he is only 20 after all—there’s nothing wrong with giving him a taste of the NHL.