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It didn't take very long for former Harvard hockey star Louis Leblanc to make his mark in the NHL.
Eight games into his professional career with the Montreal Canadiens, Leblanc scored his first goal in hockey's top league in front of a supportive home crowd Thursday night. Montreal lost to the Flyers, 4-3.
Leblanc, who made his debut for the Canadiens Nov. 30, knocked in a deflection at 13:24 in the second period to tie the game at 2-2. Though the crowd of 21,273 proceeded to give him a standing ovation, the fourth-liner played only 49 seconds in the third period.
After starring for the Crimson with 11 goals in 2009-10, the 20-year-old Quebec native and 18th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft—held in Montreal that year—decided to forgo another season in Cambridge and turn professional.
Leblanc joined the Hamilton Bulldogs, the minor-league affiliate of his hometown team, earlier this season and was soon called up to the Canadiens after the suspension of Max Pacioretty. The 2009-10 Ivy League Rookie of the Year earned his first NHL point with an assist Dec. 3.
“I’m enjoying what I do,” Leblanc told The Crimson in November. “I love hockey, and I want to play hockey for the next 20 years.”
There is speculation that Leblanc may be sent back to Hamilton soon. He has four goals and six assists in 14 games for the Bulldogs this season.
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