It's now confirmed for Arber Xhekaj

Published October 5, 2023 at 7:40 PM
BY ELIAS
In recent weeks, some experts have mentioned the possibility that Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj might start the season with the Laval Rocket due to the excess of left-handed defensemen on the roster.

However, even though he had a rather challenging training camp, all signs point to "Wifi" indeed being with the Habs for the game on October 11th against the Leafs. In fact, during this morning's practice, which was notably presented in front of hundreds of fans in Mont-Tremblant, Xhekaj was paired with the young Jordan Harris.

Here are the pairings used in training:

"First pairing: Mike Matheson -- David Savard
Second pairing: Kaiden Guhle -- Jonathan Kovacevic
Third pairing: Jordan Harris -- Arber Xhekaj
Fourth pairing: Mattias Norlinder -- Justin Barron


Extra: Gustav Lindstrom"

Knowing that there are only a few cuts left to be made to the roster, and that Martin St-Louis will surely want to use a full lineup for the final preseason game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, it's very encouraging to see that Xhekaj is still among the top six defensemen.

Moreover, he seems to have a certain edge over other defensemen in the organization such as Mattias Norlinder, Justin Barron, and Gustav Lindstrom, as he played on the right side of the defense even though he's left-handed.

We'll definitely have a definitive answer in the coming days, but all indications are that the two defensemen who should be cut and thus return to the farm team will potentially be Norlinder, Barron, or Lindstrom. One thing's for sure, it will be very interesting to see if the 2019 third-round pick will finally manage to surprise and earn a spot with the Canadiens.


Credit: GoNordiques
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ARBER XHEKAJ IS AN ESSENTIAL PLAYER FOR THE CANADIENS?
OCTOBER 5      401 ANSWERS
YES30175.1 %
NO, BUT HE PLAYS A KEY ROLE8420.9 %
NO164 %
  LIST OF POLLS
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