Montreal Canadiens Options With Sean Farrell’s ELC, Timing
The Montreal Canadiens can now sign top prospect Sean Farrell out of college; and here’s how and when it could go down.
The 21-year-old was sensational for the Harvard Crimson this year, putting up 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points in 34 games this season.
Although this is only Farrell’s second season playing for the Harvard Crimson, it is considered his junior season, as Farrell took online classes during the covid season of 2020-2021.
On top of that, Farrell sped up his studies, meaning he’s slated to graduate from Havard this spring; pending the passing of all his final exams.
This means that the time is now for the Canadiens to sign the youngster out of college.
That being said, given his relationship with the Montreal Canadiens organization and his noted appreciation for the Canadiens and their fans; there’s nothing to worry about.
The timing is right for the youngster to make the jump this spring.
The Canadiens’ 4th-round pick in 2020 saw his season come to an unceremonious end on Friday afternoon, as fellow Canadiens prospect Jakub Dobes and the Ohio State Buckeyes handed the Crimson an 8-1 loss.
Notwithstanding the academic side of things, Harvard is set to lose some big pieces on their roster this year; with defensive standout Henry Thrun turning pro next season, amongst others.
The path forth makes too much sense for Farrell, who has already performed quite well against professional players at the Beijing Olympics and 2022 World Championships.
But, unlike Jayden Struble, it would be surprising to see the skilled forward head over to the Laval Rocket for the rest of the season.
What To Expect
Struble opted to sign his two-year entry-level contract effective for next season, in order to allow him the option of signing a Professional Try-Out (PTO) with the Laval Rocket to be eligible to play in the AHL for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
That’s because, if a player signs their entry-level contract (ELC) and burns the first year of their contract after the NHL Trade Deadline, they aren’t eligible to play in the AHL.
The Canadiens did the same exercise with Jordan Harris last spring, as he joined the Canadiens on a two-year deal right out of college and immediately burned his first year upon signing his deal.
They knew that burning the first year of Harris’ ELC would make him ineligible for the AHL, and they did it anyway, as Harris was a top prospect that was sure to be coveted on the free agent market.
Harris has since been able to negotiate a new extension, which he signed earlier this winter, less than a year before turning pro.
With Sean Farrell being one of the top prospects in both the NCAA and the Montreal Canadiens prospect pool, it’s very likely that the Canadiens will have to burn the first year of his contract to sign him right away and have him join the Canadiens.
Another factor to consider is, unlike Harris and Struble, Farrell will have to sign a three-year deal out of college.
Both Harris and Struble were eligible for two-year ELCs because they were to turn 22 before September 15 in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Because of that, the NHL considers the player 22 years of age upon signing, which limits them to a two-year deal; as opposed to the usual three-year deal.
In Farrell’s case, he only turns 22 in November, meaning that he would be classified as a 21-year-old if he were to sign this spring; making him eligible for a three-year deal.
Given the term distinction for Farrell, it would make complete sense to offer him the opportunity to burn the first year of his three-year ELC to entice him to make the jump to the NHL; as it would speed up the process.
With 10 games left to the season, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the 21-year-old sign his ELC in the coming days and join the Canadiens down the stretch and get a head start on his pro career.
It’s simply just a matter of time.
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I’m sure that’s the scenario that will play out too, but I’d love to have him go to Laval instead to help that team go far in the Calder Cup playoffs if possible. As we saw with guys like Suzuki and Caufield, long playoff runs greatly accelerate their development. Not only would Farrell going to Laval help his development, it would also benefit the team, thereby giving all the other prospects in Laval also a chance to accelerate their development too. Playing in Montreal will benefit one player, but playing in Laval could potentially benefit many. And to quote everyone’s favourite pointy-eared Science Officer, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” 🖖😁