Louis Leblanc, a first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens from 2009, has finally made a decision about his future and he has chosen to put aside the red of the Harvard Crimson and sign with the Habs. Leblanc will now join the Junior de Montreal, who own his junior rights, and will likely get a real chance of playing for the Canadian Junior National team, come winter.
(Click here to read the full press release.)
While Leblanc could really not make a bad choice between Harvard and the junior ranks, the latter move is perhaps slightly better for him since he will be playing against better competition. Moreover, playing for the Junior de Montreal means that Leblanc will be residing in the city of Montreal. This move will end up being a boon for that the Canadiens as the proximity to the Habs will mean that they will be able to better ensure he continues to develop as expected.
This is a great hockey decision for Leblanc—as playing in Harvard for another year would have been more of an academic decision—and one that will only help him get better quicker. I expect Leblanc to start adding mass to his 6’1″ 184 lbs frame, to play a key role on the 2011 Canadian World Junior team, and to be ready for a possible jump to Hamilton next season.