The Montreal Canadiens are getting some organizational defensive depth in the form of Madison Bowey, Mitchell Stephens, and Anthony Richard. The team lost their AHL affiliate’s number-one defenseman, Xavier Ouellet, to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and another important depth contributor in Laurent Dauphin to the Arizona Coyotes.
In Ouellet’s place comes Bowey, who spent most of last season on the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks. Bowey, 27, brings speed and a solid transitional game but has never been able to put together his intriguing tools into a more complete game. He had 28 points in 53 games and should play a top-four role in Laval next season.
Stephens, 25, was the 33rd overall pick at the 2015 draft. He spent 2021-22 playing for the GM that drafted him, Steve Yzerman, in Detroit. Stephens struggled in Detroit, with zero goals and six assists in 27 games, and he went unqualified by the team. Stephens is signing in Montreal likely for an AHL role, and he’s proven himself to be a capable AHL center. The Peterborough, Ontario native had eight points in 4 four games in his last bit of AHL action and has shown enough talent to be penciled into Dauphin/Cedric Paquette’s now-vacated top-of-the-lineup role in Laval.
Richard, also 25, signs with Montreal as another capable AHL-er. Richard had 26 points in 40 games for the Syracuse Crunch last season and had 12 points in 31 games for the Milwaukee Admirals. Richard is an undersized forward with a resume of decent goal-scoring ability at the AHL level and should be a useful middle-six contributor in Laval.
The Athletic’s Rick Dhaliwal was first on Bowey’s deal.