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Montreal Canadiens Prospect Could See Rights Expire Today

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have drafted 38 prospects over the last four drafts, and unfortunately, they won’t be able to sign them all. With the June 1st deadline to sign prospects now upon us, the Canadiens have will have to make a decision on whether to sign a specific prospect today or see his rights expire by 5 pm.

The player in question is Jacob Olofsson. The former 2nd-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft has significantly disappointed since being drafted 56th overall. The 6’2 center from Sweden was pegged as a possible 1st round pick in his draft year and ultimately fell due to concerns in his offensive abilities and compete level. Olofsson failed to establish himself consistently in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and ran into some injury trouble along the way. He’s played parts of the last two seasons in Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan, the second division below the SHL, where he’s put up slightly better numbers than he did in his draft year.

European prospects must be signed by June 1 of the 4th year following their draft before their rights expire. This means that the Montreal Canadiens will have to make a decision today on whether they would like to give Olofsson an entry-level contract or cut him loose.

Explaining Rights In the NHL After Being Drafted

When an NHL club drafts a prospect, they acquire the exclusive rights to that player for a certain amount of time, which varies according to which region or league they’re coming from. For example, the rights of a player drafted out of Canadian Major Junior (CHL) belong to an NHL club for a maximum of two years. If, after two years, the team decides against signing the player, the player can go back into the draft for another team to draft him. However, in Europe or in the NCAA, once your rights expire after four years, you become a free-agent capable of signing with any team in the league, rather than going back into the draft like CHL players. Below is the limit for each region when it comes to signing prospects:

  • Canadian Major Junior: 2 years
  • NCAA: After completion of senior year in college, usually 4 years.
  • Europe: 4 years
  • Russia: Indefinitely

Each NHL club can only have a maximum of 50 players under contract, including their usual 23-man NHL roster. This means they have to be selective with whom they decide to sign and who they let go. It would be easy for a team to sign every prospect they draft, but the contract limitations make it so that they need to be convinced of the youngsters’ NHL potential. In this situation, with Olofsson not having shown much progression over the last four years, it would be expected to see his rights expire and for him to become a free agent by Wednesday evening.

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habbernack

I know Hughes has questions about Mailloux but remember he asked not to be drafted. He didn;t think he deserved to be drafted. And there is the allegations against the 2018 Team Canada Jr team that was settled by the CHL. So what about those players. Will Hughes trade for one of them. From what I understand Mailloux is doing all the things he needs to do to. I hope Hughes doesn’t continue to punish a young man who made a terrible mistake.

Stephen J Charette

You’re exactly right. He made a mistake, took his punishment and is now on the right track. He played pretty well for the London Knights this season but unfortunately got hurt and missed the last part of the season and all of the playoffs. Hopefully he can make the step into the NHL when his time comes.

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