Montreal Canadiens: Cole Caufield Returning To Wisconsin The Right Decision

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens top prospect Cole Caufield appears to be headed back to school next season. Returning to Wisconsin is the right decision for the 19 year old sniper.

The Montreal Canadiens found themselves an elite level goal scorer when they drafted Cole Caufield with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. It would be understood if they were in a rush to get their best prospect another step closer to the National Hockey League as soon as possible.

However, it sounds like Cole Caufield is going to be staying at Wisconsin for another year. The 19 year old had a successful freshman campaign this year, but was eligible to sign with the Habs over a week ago. According to a report yesterday, Caufield told his head coach, Tony Granato that he would be back with the Wisconsin Badgers next season.

This is, without a doubt, the best decision for the Canadiens prospect long term.

Caufield was exceptional for a bad Badgers team this year. They finished last place in their conference standings, but he was the top scorer in the Big Ten Conference. He scored 19 goals and 36 points in 36 games for Wisconsin and was nominated for rookie of the year and most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference.

The 19 year old right winger is a goal scoring phenom and has dazzling offensive skills with the puck. He was the most dangerous player most nights for the Badgers, though the NCAA is usually dominated by players older than Caufield.

Caufield let it be known he wanted to turn pro after one season of college hockey. He was excited to play with the Montreal Canadiens as soon as possible and would have liked to take another step closer to realizing that dream by signing his entry-level contract right away.

However, Marc Bergevin mentioned a few weeks ago that he felt Caufield was not quite ready to play NHL hockey and could use another year of seasoning with the Wisconsin Badgers. This would allow the slender forward to build up some muscle and become more prepared for the rigours of the NHL calendar.

It was announced late last night after much speculation, that Caufield did agree to return to Wisconsin next season.

This is definitely the right move for Caufield. There is no reason to rush the decision to turn pro. Lots of young players think they are ready long before they are actually prepared for the NHL. With Caufield being a very slight player, it is possible the professional game could be a huge eye opener for him at this time in his career.

Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar are the two top rookies in the NHL this season and both of them returned to college hockey for a second season after dominating in year one. Caufield should follow their path and not rush into games with the Canadiens until he is sure he is ready to bring his goal scoring abilities at the highest level.

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It will be exciting to see what Caufield can do when he does reach the NHL level. We just need to be a little patient and give him time to ensure he is more than ready to make na impact when he does show up with the Habs.