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Canadiens Prospects’ Teammates Set To Become Free Agents



Montreal Canadiens Jay O'brien

The deadline to sign certain college players (NCAA) is set for 5 PM on Tuesday, though the Montreal Canadiens have already taken care of all their loose ends, which means they do not have a player on the list of remaining unsigned prospects.

However, if you take a closer look at the list, two interesting players stand out due to their familiarity with a pair of high-flying Canadiens prospects.

Sean Farrell‘s teammate at Harvard University, John Farinacci, as well as Lane Hutson’s teammate at Boston University, Jay O’Brien.

Of course, as it stands, the Canadiens do not have much room upfront when it comes to giving opportunities to forward prospects, but the aforementioned players aren’t ready to jump into the NHL anyhow.

Jay O’Brien was drafted 19th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2018. He started his NCAA career by playing with Providence College, where he only managed to score two goals and three assists in 20 games during his rookie season.

A transfer to Boston University led to an immediate uptick n scoring for the 6-foot centre, to the tune of 16 points in 16 games during his sophomore season.

O’Brien, who has already advised the Flyers he does not intend on signing a contract, finished his college career with a relatively impressive season for the Terriers alongside Hutson: 32 points in 39 games.

As for John Farinacci, the 22-year-old centre finally earned more than a point per game last season while playing for the Harvard Crimson: five goals and 15 assists in 19 games.

Farinacci was a third-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2019 but has since advised the team he is not interested in signing an entry-level contract.

If the Canadiens are so inclined, they could also look into possibly signing centre Jake Wise. Wise scored 12 goals and 27 assists in 40 games with the Ohio State Buckeyes last season. It was his second encouraging season in the NCAA after struggling with injuries and inconsistency during his three seasons with Boston University. He was a third-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018 and is set to also become a free agent.

Brass Tacks

The Montreal Canadiens don’t particularly need more forwards in their prospect pool, especially forwards that don’t necessarily project as elite, and that’s the case for O’Brien, Wise, and Farinacci.

With that in mind, we should not expect the Canadiens to make waves when it comes to the college players set to become free agents.

However, as we all know, general manager Kent Hughes has strong connections in the NCAA, especially when it comes to prospects who have evolved in the Massachusetts area, giving him the type of insight that could lead to a signing or two if he deems the players in question to have a decent amount of potential left to develop.

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Jay Obrein wouldnt be a bad pick up.
But he’d be better off with 1 year in SHL
Without that i feel he’s an ECHL player or fringe AHL guy.
He’s good but he’s predictable and easy to push around.

That said buy him a year then have him and Tuch enter Laval together.
As deep as MTL is in the AHL most of them will cycle out in the next 2 years.
Obrien/Tuch have that Richards/Cater feel to their chemistry and could be key linemates for MTL’s bottom 6 with lets say a Newhook or Beck