The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they have signed first round pick Michael McCarron to a three year entry level contract.
The contract makes McCarron ineligible to play NCAA, meaning he will be heading to London to play for the Knights, in the Ontario Hockey League. He had been committed to play for Western Michigan University.
The move to London is a great one for McCarron, as the program run by former NHLer Dale Hunter and his brother Mark, has been producing top NHL talent for years. Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Dennis Wideman, Brandon Prust, Dave Bolland, Marc Methot, Kyle Quincey, Dan Girardi, Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner, Steve Mason, Nazem Kadri, John Carlson, Michael Del Zotto, Jarred Tinordi and John Tavares have all played in London over the past 11 years.
McCarron, the 25th overall selection by the Canadiens, will join another star studded Knights squad next season, that will host the Memorial Cup in May 2014. He is joining fellow first round picks, Bo Horvat, Max Domi, Nikita Zadorov and Olli Maatta.
As a 6’5” winger, who weighed in at 238 pounds during the Canadiens development camp last week, McCarron will play a nasty, physical style that the Hunter’s will admire. This will help him to get plenty of ice time and opportunity on a contending team in the OHL.
The OHL schedule resembles the NHL much more than the NCAA does, and allows fighting, something McCarron has said he can’t wait to take part in.
The Canadiens have also announced the signing of Ben Duffy, to their AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs. Duffy’s contract is an AHL/ECHL deal. He led the QMJHL in scoring this past season with 110 points in 68 games.
Duffy is a gifted offensive center, who scored a hat trick during the final intrasquad game at the Canadiens Development Camp.