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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Lars Eller

Bergevin Inks Eller For Two Years

Lars Eller - C
6'2" 198 lbs
2011-12 Stats 79GP- 16G- 12A- 28Pts - -5

The Cost

With the completion of his entry level contract which saw him earn $875,000 for two years and $787,500 in 2011-12, Eller signed a two year extension worth $1.15 million in 2012-13 and $1.5 million in 2013-14.

Eller's contract will have an annual cap hit of $1.325 million.

The price seems fair for a young skilled forward who is coming off of his best year and has shown a high level of skill at times.

Performance

At least until the next season starts, Eller's name will immediately bring fans back to January 4th, 2012. A game in which Eller scored four goals — including a dazzling spin-o-rama on a penalty shot — and added an assist in a 7-3 Habs win over the Winnipeg Jets.

It is quite unlikely that Eller will post another four goal night, but it was made clear that the Great Dane — a fun nickname he will hopefully one day live up to — has skill.

Eller has trouble finishing at times but it's evident that with more work he has the potential to be a 25+ goal scorer in the NHL.

The Fit

With Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais ahead of him up the middle, Eller will start the season as the team's third center.

It's likely that his wingers will be Travis Moen and Colby Armstrong, which could prove to be an effective combination. Moen will provide more room for Eller to dangle and Armstrong owns enough skill to chip in offensively.

Another possibility would see Brandon Prust get some time on the third line alongside Eller. Prust was brought in for toughness but can also play. He also makes $2.5 million, more than your average fourth liner.

Do you think Eller can or will break the 20 goal barrier? And who would you like to see play on his wing?


Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price



---
Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.


(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

14 comments:

Well, I'm not sure that Eller problems are about scoring goals. I'm more concerned with his ability to spot his wingers, create plays and see the game as a Great Dane - and not a skilled but rather selfish one... If he's not up to this, he will be a winger at the side of Pleky next season.

He will have a super year coming up.
I cringe when you mention his wingers, Moan-Armstrong-Prust, not what anyone would call skilled offensive wingers.
I want to see Leblanc, who will also have a break out year and Gallagher as his wingers. But it womnt happen, so how bout Leblanc and any of 3 grinders.

Eller is destined for #2 centre slot, might not be for 1, 2 or 3 years, but an injury to Plekanec or Davie may allow Eller to play with 2 skilled wingers for the first time and PP time. But i would say 40 points should be a good goal for him this year.

@ Daniel
That's not a big concern of mine. I've seen him make plays before and he seems to see the ice well, although that would be more apparent if he were playing alongside more capable wingers.

@Anon

you touched on what I just said to daniel about his wingers. I do think Armstrong and Moen will help his game but i also wish he had more offensively capable support to boost his numbers

As for Leblanc, I feel he still needs to develop in Hamilton.

@ Sean. I agree with you about his ability to make and create plays, it's more with his decision making that I'm concerned. The question ask about a center should be : does he make his wingers better ? But I do think that confidence and a more well established play system (with Therrien) will help him. But he'll have to wait for better wingers, even if I'm still hoping for the return of Kostitsyn. They were great together with Moan (or Leblanc) last year.

You are going to think I am crazy but when I see Eller as a center I think to myself that this guy would strive if he had a winger setting him up.

I know most people think Gomez is gone but I think there is a chance he stays.

Throwing this out there

Pacioretty-Plekanec-Cole
Bourque-Gomez-Gionta
Desharnais-Eller-Armstrong
Moen-White-Prust

That's an option... I'd rather say :

Pacio - desharnais - cole
Moen - Pleky - gionta
Eller - Gomez - bourque
armstrong - white - prust

Of course, if we get rid of Bourque, there is room for Galagher or Leblanc.

I don't see desharnais surviving as a winger... I know the "he's too small" argument is getting old.... But he's too small. Gane in game out working in the corner? I don't see him doing it for 82 games.

Also Moen is not a second liner, he'll be more effective sticking to his role.

I still see some potential with him playing alongside Armstrong and Moen but there is no doubt that that needs improving.

@Daniel: It's not a bad idea except that Eller is MUCH better at center than on the wing. Maybe he can learn to play wing but in his few stints in that position last year, he was pretty bad.

He looked lost and out of his element.

Personally, I think Eller needs to be the third line center and should be given every opportunity to steal the second position.

I'm not sure he's there yet, but in a year he might be!

@ Sean

Being a winger is alot less responsibility than being a center so in essence he'd have less to do.

generally speaking you see many more smaller wingers than you do centers because it is an easier position to play.

It's all about what Eller upsides are. I do hope to see him develop as a center, but the fact the his Olympic team chose to put him to the wing is "worrying". The stats comparison between him and Pleky and Datsyuk are very interesting for that matter (http://www.allhabs.net/feature/dont-forget-about-lars/)
One thing that will help Eller, maybe: he's the kind of player Therrien like, with grit, courage and an emotional game. Which are not the main qualities of Desharnais and Pleky.

@bryan the winger does have less responsibility overall but does spend more time on the ice playing along the boards. While has has done well so far doing that as a centernan I feel the wear and tear of the NHL season will effect him in the long run.

I do like the idea Kamal brings up that has him starting at 3rd spot and working at stealing a higher position.

Unless MB sends desharnais away via trade moves Plek to #1 with Cole and Patches and Eller gets the second spot. Problem is that just won't happen

I say let's just see what happens. I fully expect some chanegs with this unit via trade

I think Eller is a good signing he is young and has shown ability that will improve as he plays more on this level,who can forget the 4 goal night. But what I really want to know is why hasn't P.K. Subban been signed yet???

i love the habs but Eller trade him for a pick and get daon

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