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

1. Sault Ste Marie

Going to Europe would be a solid option for Caufield. Playing a season in the AHL would be just fine for him as well. But if the biggest hindrance to his game right now is his size and ability to handle a lengthy season playing against grown men, one year of Junior hockey wouldn’t hurt him at all.

A year ago, when Nick Suzuki attended his first training camp with the Canadiens, there was no question he was talented, but he was slender and not strong enough to play in the NHL. He played one more season in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and Guelph Storm and was suddenly more than ready for NHL duty.

Caufield is a year younger than Suzuki and would be well served to follow the same career path. His rights are owned by the Soo Greyhounds and though players can’t leave the OHL to go play NCAA Hockey, they can go from college hockey to the OHL.

So, if there are any delays to the NCAA season, Caufield could bolt and suit up for the Greyhounds when they start play on December 1. Their regular season is slated to run until the end of April, with teams playing 64 games instead of the normal 68 game season.

Caufield’s OHL career would possibly last much longer than 64 games as the Greyhounds look to have a strong team already and could be hosting the 2021 Memorial Cup. They are on a very short list to host the annual event that crowns a Canadian Junior hockey champion. That list includes the Greyhounds and the Oshawa Generals.

Playing Junior hockey would have Caufield playing against younger competition than he saw last season. However, a 64 game schedule is twice as long as his college season and would prepare him well for the rigours of the National Hockey League calendar.

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If the college hockey season is cancelled, or even if it is undecided in a month or so, the most logical decision for the Montreal Canadiens top prospect is to move to the Ontario Hockey League and play for a great team in “The Soo” next season.