Canadiens Call Up Top Prospect Ben Maxwell

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The Canadiens have a tenuous hold on the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot — and they want some reinforcements.

The Habs have 55 points through 53 games, just one point ahead of the Boston Bruins, who have two games in hand on their divisional rival. To help with the playoff push, Montreal has recalled Ben Maxwell from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, the Montreal Gazette reports.

According to Hockeysfuture.com, Maxwell is the Canadiens’ top prospect. The forward has 11 goals and 23 assists in Hamilton this season. He is described by the Web site as a “potential top-six forward” with a high hockey IQ.

In a brief seven-game spell with the big club last year, the 21-year-old didn’t contribute too much. Maxwell failed to register a point and was a minus-1 while spending two minutes in the penalty box.

According to the Gazette, the 2006 second-round pick will start out on the third line with Maxim Lapierre and Mathieu Darche while hoping to improve on his performance from last year.

Maxwell’s stay in 2010 could be just as short, depending both on how he plays in the NHL and how Matt D’Agostini responds to being sent down. D’Agostini is in the AHL on a mutually-consented-upon conditioning stint. Had he not agreed to it, D’Agostini would have had to clear waivers. The catch is that he can only remain in Hamilton for two weeks, spelling a most likely short time in the big leagues for Maxwell.

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