Montreal Canadiens: NCAA Free Agents Habs Should Consider Signing

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 12: Ty Pelton-Byce (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 12: Ty Pelton-Byce (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 12: Ty Pelton-Byce (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 12: Ty Pelton-Byce (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Ty Pelton-Byce: Cole Caufield’s centre for almost every shift this past season and for a large chunk of last season is looking to find an NHL organization to call home. The 23 year old centre is a smart, playmaking pivot who found chemistry with Caufield early on in Caufield’s tenure at Wisconsin and played consistent, solid two-way hockey for the past two seasons with the Badgers.

Pelton-Byce scored 12 goals and 31 points in 24 games this season and has put up 55 points in 56 games over the past two years with the Badgers. He played two years with Harvard previous to that and had 25 points in 33 games as a sophomore. He could step into the Rocket lineup with Caufield and give the Habs top prospects a familiar centre to start his pro career.

Chayse Primeau: Son of Keith and brother of Laval Rocket goaltender Cayden, Chayse Primeau was a dangerous weapon for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He plays right wing, has good size at 6’3″ and scored at close to a point per game in a tough NCHC conference this season.

The 23 year old Primeau has one more year of college eligibility, but the chance to play with his brother in the AHL might be an enticing proposition.

Jordan Kawaguchi: Probably the best and most likely player on this list to have an NHL future. Kawaguchi was a big part of the #1 ranked North Dakota team that fell just short of qualifying for the Frozen Four. The 23 year old scored the tying goal in the final minute but North Dakota lost in the FIFTH overtime to Minnesota Duluth.

Kawaguchi was fourth in the NCAA in points this season with 36 in 28 games and was the second leading scorer in college hockey last season with 45 points in 33 games. The left winger somehow went undrafted in the NHL after dominating the BCHL for three seasons, but some team is going to get a great player when they sign him in the coming days.

Odeen Tufto: Like Kawaguchi, Tufto is an undersized forward who produces huge numbers. He was the closest challenger to Caufield for NCAA scoring champion, but the playmaking centre ice man fell just short with 47 points in 29 games. Tufto’s numbers with Quinnipiac were quite simialr to Sam Anas during his tenure and he Anas has been one of the top scorers in the AHL for the past few years.