The Montreal Canadiens announced they agreed to terms with defensive prospect William Trudeau on a three-year, entry-level contract.
The newly-signed defenceman finished 14th overall in QMJHL scoring last season, with eight goals and 36 assists in 44 games.
The fourth-round pick stood out as one of the most reliable defencemen at training camp due to his excellent timing and decision-making.
His penchant for supporting the play at the right time as well as his instant chemistry with a variety of teammates was evident, as was his ability to mitigate scoring chances by playing a simple, yet effective style of defensive hockey.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) October 14, 2022
He also showed great strength in every physical encounter during the Prospect Challenge in Buffalo, an encouraging sign for a player about to embark on his professional career.
If Trudeau were 18 or 19 years old, his contract would be eligible to slide by spending the season in the AHL, but seeing as he’s 20 years old, the first year of his entry-level contract is not eligible for the slide rule and will kick in immediately.
By awarding him a contract, the Canadiens are not only giving Trudeau a significant vote of confidence, but they are also providing very good evidence that Trudeau will spend the entire season with the Laval Rocket, rather than being loaned back to the Charlottetown Islanders in the QMJHL.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) June 9, 2022
The decision was likely made easier by the news that prospect Gianni Fairbrother will miss the remainder of the season due to a serious injury to his right knee which occurred on Oct. 9.
Trudeau will join fellow Canadiens defensive prospects Justin Barron, Mattias Norlinder and Otto Leskinen on what should be one of the stronger blue lines in the North Division.
The Laval Rocket open their season on Oct.14, in the first of many matchups against their division rivals, the Belleville Senators.