Kent Hughes, gm of the Canadiens
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Kent Hughes about to part ways with seven young players, including a surprise? We just learned that it's really time for him to make a choice

Published January 21, 2024 at 11:45 PM
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When an NHL team drafts a prospect, it acquires exclusive rights to that player for a certain period, which varies based on the region or league from which the player comes.

For example, the rights to a player drafted from Canadian major junior hockey (CHL) belong to an NHL team for a maximum of two years.

If, after two years, the team decides not to recruit the player, he can re-enter the draft for another team to sign him.

However, in Europe or the NCAA, once your rights expire after four years, you become a free agent able to sign with any team in the league, rather than re-entering the draft like CHL players.


Below is the signing limit for each region regarding prospects:

Canadian Major Junior: 2 years
NCAA: After completing the final year of college, usually 4 years.
Europe: 4 years
Russia: Indefinitely

Knowing this and seeing how the Canadiens have drafted in recent years, it's normal that many prospects leave the organization after the deadline to agree with the club has expired. Next summer, after the 2023-2024 season, no fewer than seven prospects risk leaving the organization.

Here are the 7 players in question.

Blake Biondi (21 years old) 4th round pick in 2020
Jared Davidson (21 years old) 5th round pick in 2022
Cedrick Guindon (19 years old) 4th round pick in 2022
Petteri Nurmi (21 years old) 7th round pick in 2022
Ty Smilanic (21 years old) 3rd round pick in 2020
Miguel Tourigny (21 years old) 7th round pick in 2022
Luke Tuch (21 years old) 2nd round pick in 2020

The surprise is obviously Luke Tuch, whom many see as promising.

This season is critical for these players, and they will need to impress the organization enough to earn a contract. With a limited number of agreements allowed by the collective bargaining agreement (50), it is certain that the Canadiens will not agree with all these picks. With 46 contracts out of a possible 50, it will be interesting to see how Kent Hughes juggles all this.

However, the GM might choose another option if he does not offer an entry-level contract to one of these players.

As he did with Brett Stapley, who was in the same situation last year, it is possible to give a player an AHL contract to test him in professional hockey.

This strategy was also used with Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Xavier Simoneau, and more recently Miguel Tourigny.

The Quebec defenseman went through Slovakia last year before joining the Canadiens for the 2023-2024 season. The signing of this AHL pact postponed the expiration of his rights to June 1, 2024.

It will be interesting to see how many of these seven players remain in the organization after their draft rights expire. With several more selections in upcoming drafts, it would be surprising if many of these prospects stay in town.


Via Marqueur
POLL
January 21   |   683 answers
Kent Hughes about to part ways with seven young players, including a surprise? We just learned that it's really time for him to make a choice

Who would you keep?

Luke Tuch24135.3 %
Jared Davidson13720.1 %
Tourigny or Smilanic537.8 %
No one25236.9 %
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