Defenseman Kale Clague believes he is ready to take the “next step” in his career and intends to do so with the Montreal Canadiens.
This constitutes a move to establish itself permanently in the National Hockey League (LNH). The 23-year-old linebacker was unable to make it to the Los Angeles Kings, the team that drafted him in the second round (51 total) of the 2016 amateur auction.
After calling for a waiver by Bleu-Blanc-Rouge last Saturday, Clagg took part in his first training session with his new teammates on Monday morning.
“I’m ready to take the next step and become a full-time NHL guy,” he stated during his first media bath in Montreal.
“I am a defensive man who moves the disc,” added the Regina native when asked to describe himself. The greatest trait for me is ice skating. I have good vision. I’m trying to return the disk to the attackers and let them do the rest.”
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At the Canadian club, Clagg communicates with a coach he knows in Dominique Ducharme. The two met in 2017 and 2018, when the pilot was in charge of Team Canada Junior. They also won a gold medal together during the second Defender’s residency in a Maple Leaf outfit.
“We’re comfortable with each other,” Clagg said. He knows my style of play. I think it’s important to have that kind of connection in this kind of relationship.”
For his part, the Habs head coach sees the left-back as having the assets to prove himself in his training.
“It’s an interesting project and it’s still young. He has good qualities. He skates well, sees the match well and drives the disc well. So he has good tools. Now he has a chance. He has to show that he can contribute and make his place here.”
On Monday, Clague played in the Canadian second playing unit.
“This is the kind of situation I’m in the best of,” the defender said.
“When the disc is on my paddle, I think that’s when my game becomes effective,” he said confidently.
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