‘Dogs gain four more from Montreal

As the opening of the AHL regular season approaches, the Montreal Canadiens have sent forwards Ian Schultz, Michael Blunden, Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Schultz, 21, played in 45 games last season with the Bulldogs recording four points (three goals, one assists) and 49 penalty minutes. From 2006-2010, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound right wing played four seasons with the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League amassing a total of 127 points (55 goals, 72 goals) and 405 penalty minutes in 196 games. The native of Calgary, Alberta was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 3rd round, 87th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and acquired by the Montreal Canadiens in a trade with the Blues on June 17th, 2010.

Blunden, 24, played in 37 games with the Springfield Falcons last season earning 21 points (12 goals, nine assists), 41 penalty minutes and a +22 rating. The native of Toronto, Ontario has competed in a total of 240 AHL games posting 120 points (52 goals, 68 assists) and 294 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound right wing has also competed in 51 NHL games earning four points (two goals, two assists) and 69 penalty minutes. Blunden was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2nd round, 43rd overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and was acquired by Montreal in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Russell on July 7th, 2011.

Engqvist, 23, played in 71 games with Hamilton last season earning 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists), 18 penalty minutes and a +8 rating. The native of Bromma, Sweden also skated in three games for the Canadiens in 2010-2011. The 6-foot-4, 197-pound centre played in six 2011 pre-season games with Montreal earning one assist. Engqvist was signed as a free agent by the Canadiens on July 13, 2009.

Palushaj, 22, ranked second on the ‘Dogs in points in 2010-2011 as he recorded 57 (22 goals, 35 assists) and 42 penalty minutes. The native of Livonia, Michigan also skated in three games for Montreal last season earning two penalty minutes and a +1 rating. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward registered four points (one goal, three assists) in five 2011 pre-season games with the Canadiens. Palushaj was drafted in the 2nd round, 44th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues and acquired by Montreal in a trade with St. Louis for Matt D’Agostini on March 3, 2010.

The ‘Dogs will open their 2011-2012 season at home this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Copps Coliseum against the Rochester Americans.