Photo of Kent Hughes and Habs prospect Luke Tuch
Photo credit: SportsNet

Acquisition of a surprise third-round pick by Hughes and the Canadiens? It has just officially been brought up if Luke Tuch leaves

Published February 11, 2024 at 11:39
A few weeks ago, we mentioned that seven prospects from the Canadiens organization could be released by Kent Hughes this summer.

With the many players drafted over the last few years and the 50-contract limit, the GM has no choice but to be very selective in his signings.

Among these seven players, we find the name of Luke Tuch. While many hold him in high regard, others, like prospect analyst Simon Snake Boisvert, do not think the CH should sacrifice a contract spot for him.

"The easy answer is to offer him a contract, send him to Laval, and see. He's a big player with NHL size like his brother, but the comparison ends there. He's a guy with almost no offensive talent, apart from a not bad shot, but teams are allowed 50 contracts, there's a limit, and the Canadiens have drafted a lot of players in the last few years so there has to be a selection. Can Luke Tuch play in the NHL? If he can play in the NHL, he's a 12th/13th forward, and that's in the best case. I wouldn't sign him." - Simon Boisvert

To date, the CH has, according to the site Capfriendly, 45 contracts out of a possible 50. It's also necessary to consider that Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom will soon take up two more spots. Thus, signing Luke Tuch becomes less critical.

A 3rd round pick acquired by the CH?

According to Mathias Brunet, who co-hosts the Process Podcast with Simon Boisvert, by letting Tuch go, the CH would receive a compensatory pick. It would be a 3rd round pick in 2025 that would be added to Kent Hughes's assets as a result of this decision.

However, there is a but in this case as Tuch is a player that Kent Hughes knows very well. He has also played with the GM's son, Jack Hughes, as well as with Lane Hutson at Boston University. Their connection might perhaps push the CH to keep the young prospect in its ranks.

In doing so, Kent Hughes could very well, as he did with Brett Stapley, who was in the same situation last year, offer an AHL contract to his young protégé. This strategy was also used with Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Xavier Simoneau, and more recently Miguel Tourigny. This way, the CH could retain the rights to its player while evaluating him in the context of professional hockey. The Habs will eventually have the luxury of signing him to an NHL contract, much like Brandon Gignac has just done.

Tuch, who is the younger brother of Alex Tuch currently playing with the Buffalo Sabres, is in his fourth season in the NCAA with Boston University. The 6-foot-2 forward has accumulated 7 goals and 16 assists for a total of 23 points in 26 games this season in the American college league.

You can listen to all of Snake's comments in the latest episode of the Process Podcast here:

Via HF
February 11   |   354 answers
Acquisition of a surprise third-round pick by Hughes and the Canadiens? It has just officially been brought up if Luke Tuch leaves

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