Montreal Canadiens call up top prospect Louis Leblanc for west coast trip

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Montreal Canadiens have called up top prospect Louis Leblanc to replace suspended forward Max Pacioretty.

The 20-year-old centre—the Canadiens’ first-round selection, 18th overall, in the 2009 NHL draft—is expected to make his NHL debut Wednesday when Montreal visits the Ducks in Anaheim.

The Pointe-Claire, Que., native has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 14 games with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

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Pacioretty was suspended three games for a head shot on Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. Pacioretty caught Letang with a shoulder to the head, leaving the Penguins player with a broken nose.

Leblanc had 58 points (26-32) and 100 penalty minutes in 51 games last season with the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.