Former Harvard hockey star Louis Leblanc will make his NHL debut in Anahiem, Calif. Wednesday, skating for his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs called up Leblanc from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs to fill the space left by Max Pacioretty, who earned a three-game suspension for a dirty hit.
Leblanc—a former member of the class of 2013—had made a name for himself before stepping foot on campus in fall of 2009, as the Canadiens had taken Leblanc in the first round with the 18th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
And the forward lived up to the hype. Skating for the Crimson during his freshman year, Leblanc established himself as a force in the Harvard attack. Named Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a finalist for ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year, Leblanc led the Crimson in points and goals in the 2009-2010 campaign.
But after his stellar rookie season, the rising sophomore—in an unprecedented move—chose to leave Cambridge with hopes of making the NHL. His three-year contract with the Canadiens signaled the end of his time in a Harvard jersey. Shortly thereafter, the Montreal native helped Canada finish second in the 2011 World Junior Championship.
On Oct. 27, Leblanc made his professional debut for the Bulldogs in a matchup against the Rochester Americans and Alex Biega ’10, another former Crimson stalwart.
Leblanc and the Canadiens will take the ice against the Ducks at 7 p.m. local time.