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, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 10: Jordan Harris (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 10: Jordan Harris (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

While it would have been great to see Jordan Harris sign this season, another year of development at Northeastern won’t hurt the Habs prospect. It could also open up a contract slot for one of these NCAA free agent defenders:

Matt Kiersted: The prize of the college hockey free agent class this season is North Dakota defender Matt Kiersted. The 22 year old blue liner has steadily progressed in his four years with the top ranked program and finds himself a free agent a couple weeks earlier than expected after losing in a fifth overtime to Minnesota-Duluth.

Kiersted is a puck-moving defender who could possibly step into an NHL lineup right away and play a depth role. The left shooting defender had 22 points in 29 games and plays a steady defensive game as well. The left side of the Laval Rocket blue line is a little thinner than the right and Kiersted could step into a prominent role there that we all thought Jordan Harris was going to take.

If the Habs plan on granting Victor Mete his request for a trade anytime in the future, Kiersted would be a nice depth addition to the team.

Akito Hirose: First of all, his name is awesome. He is the younger brother of recent college free agent signing Taro Hirose who plays for the Detroit Red Wings.

He just finished his first college season, but he will be 22 years old in about two weeks. Hirose had a successful freshman campaign with Minnesota State, a team that plays a stifling defensive style and just shutout heavily favoured Minnesota in the regional finals to earn a trip to the Frozen Four. Due to that, Hirose won’t be eligible to sign until April 8th at the earliest, and that’s if he even wishes to leave college after just one year.

Brandon Scanlin: Scanlin is a huge left shot defenceman at 6’4″ and 214 pounds. He just finished his second college season and is just 21 years old. Scanlin was named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team a year ago and was named as an Honorbale Mention for the NCHC All-Star Team this year.

Scanlin scored 17 points in 24 games for Nebraska-Omaha and has shown an impressive two-way game as a second year college player, edging out the likes of Jake Sanderson for his honourable mention on the conference All-Star teams.

Next. Blake Biondi Headed to Frozen Four. dark

While none of the aforementioned players are likely to become stars in the NHL, they could provide depth to the Canadiens organization. As free agents, it would cost nothing to sign them and they come with no risk.