The Montreal Canadiens have added a little bit of forward depth, claiming Rem Pitlick off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. It’s the second time that Pitlick has been claimed this season, after the Wild took him from the Nashville Predators at the beginning of the year.
It’s certainly an interesting claim for the Canadiens, who have been ravaged by injuries this season and don’t have a lot to play for down the stretch. Pitlick, 24, is a capable offensive player with 11 points in 20 games for the Wild this season but wasn’t being used very much in the more competitive matchups. In fact, in three of his last four games for Minnesota, Pitlick had seen less than seven minutes of ice time.
That likely won’t be the case in Montreal, where he’ll suddenly be among many other forwards that have as little NHL experience as him.
It’s also a familiar name for the Canadiens organization, given they selected his brother Rhett Pitlick in the fifth round of the 2019 draft. That Pitlick, still just 20 years old, is in his freshman season for the University of Minnesota.
Adding relatively young talent through whatever means is necessary for the Canadiens as they look to turn around a franchise that hit rock bottom this season. Even if Pitlick doesn’t turn out to be more than he has shown to this point, he is still an asset that they grabbed for nothing more than the low cost of a waiver claim.
Unfortunately, despite him being 24, Pitlick is likely headed for unrestricted free agency in the summer. With just 31 games played to this point in his career, he’ll qualify for Group VI UFA status should he fail to play in 49 more this season (the Canadiens have 48 remaining).