Montreal Canadiens: If College Season Cancelled, Where Can Cole Caufield Play?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 21: Cole Caufield of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

3. Play Pro In Europe

This is not the most likely scenario, but it is one that makes a lot of sense. If the college hockey season is cancelled, Caufield needs to play somewhere. Even if the NCAA pushes its schedule back to the new year, the Habs goal scoring machine will not play a meaningful game for ten months.

That is not ideal for a teenaged prospect who should be making his NHL debut in early 2021, not playing his first game of the season for the Wisconsin Badgers.

If things are still up in the air for these North American leagues in a month or so, it would make a lot of sense for the Habs best prospect to follow what a Toronto Maple Leafs star recently did.

Before being drafted first overall by the Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews had a number of choices to play his final season outside the NHL. He was a teenager who played in the United States Development Program and could have stayed there another year. Or, he could have played college hockey for a season. He could have even played for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL who owned his Junior rights.

Instead, Matthews went to Switzerland to play under Marc Crawford for a year. He scored 46 points in 36 games for Zurich. What better way to prepare to be a professional hockey player in the NHL than by playing professional hockey in Europe?

Caufield could be loaned out, or just sign with any team in Europe that he pleases. This would end his college hockey eligibility, but if there isn’t going to be a season, or even if we aren’t certain about there being a season, he could decide to not risk waiting around and go play somewhere else.

Being from Wisconsin and playing his entire hockey career in the USA hasn’t given him many ties to Europe. However, a team in Switzerland would love to have a 19 year old goal scoring machine. The European leagues typically start earlier than the NHL, so it would reduce the amount of time he isn’t playing at all and give the small winger a real taste of playing against grown men before he wears a Habs jersey for the first time.