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Canadiens Upcoming Decisions On Qualifying Unsigned Prospects



Montreal Canadiens Prospect

The Montreal Canadiens have a deep prospect pool, which means they’ll have to be selective about the prospects they qualify this summer.

With a limit of only 50 contracts within the organization and quite a few prospects turning pro next season, the Canadiens have to make some tough choices in the next few months.

With the likes of Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, Logan Mailloux, Jakub Dobes and more making the jump to Laval, it seems the organization has already loaded up their AHL affiliate, leaving pending prospects in limbo.

With deadlines coming up for various prospects, here’s where things are going.

Frederik Dichow – June 1

Frederik Dichow has been honing his craft in Sweden for the last four years.

Jumping from HockeyAllsvenskan to the SHL this year, the 22-year-old played a backup role for Frolunda HC and put up very average numbers throughout the season.

Given his age and Kent Hughes opting to sign Jakub Dobes last month, it doesn’t seem like there could be much room for Dichow in the Canadiens’ depth chart.

The former 5th-round pick in 2019 must be signed by the Montreal Canadiens by June 1 if they are to retain his rights; but it doesn’t look likely at this junction.

Joe Vrbetic – June 1

The other goaltender on this list is Joe Vrbetic, who fast-tracked his development this season by jumping to the pros for the Trois-Rivieres Lions.

Despite the Lions having an ever-changing cast of players on a regular basis due to injuries to the Laval Rocket, Vrbetic was the backbone of the team down the stretch, putting up some impressive performances.

He was also tasked with a few games with the Rocket due to injuries and performed admirably well given that the Rocket were essentially comprised of ECHL players by that point.

With the Canadiens offering Vrbetic an AHL deal last summer, it would stand to reason that they’d sign him and have the youngster continue his development in the ECHL.

It would finally offer the Canadiens some organizational depth at the position and give Vrbetic more time to get accustomed to the pro game at just 20 years old.

Tony Sund – June 30

Tony Sund was acquired along with a 2024 5th-round pick by the Montreal Canadiens at the NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for retaining $1M on Nick Bonino‘s contract.

The 27-year-old undrafted defenceman has played almost everywhere in Europe, but recently found a home in Sweden with Rogle over the last two seasons.

He was fellow Canadiens prospect Adam Engstrom’s defence partner this season, giving the Canadiens a first-hand view of what the 6-foot-3 defender could do on a day-to-day basis.

In acquiring his rights just a few months before, the Canadiens secured exclusive negotiation rights, likely hinting that Sund could be making the trip across the Atlantic to join the Laval Rocket to start.

If the Canadiens don’t come to an agreement with Sund before the opening of free agency on July 1, Sund will become a free agent.

Jack Gorniak -August 15

After extending his NCAA career by one year due to a Covid-related NCAA exception, Jack Gorniak’s time in college is officially over.

The Montreal Canadiens’ 4th-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft never truly took off in the NCAA, despite increased responsibilities for Wisconsin.

The 23-year-old will look to other options to turn pro next season, likely on an AHL deal or in Europe.

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After watching Dichow at a couple international events, it would be really tough for me to just walk away from him already at such a young age. I’m far more apt to move Primeau in the summer. Dobes and Vrbetic can have Laval, but it would be nice to pull some strings and get Dichow somewhere with a great program that we can monitor and influence his development. I don’t like the ECHL as a developmental league generally, especially when it comes to goalies (just ask Zach Fucale about that one). There are worse places than Frolunda. I’d like to keep him a while longer before cutting him loose.


PS Thanks for writing this article, Marco. I’ve been wondering who we had to make decisions on this summer.

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