Montreal Canadiens: Undrafted QMJHL Free Agents to Target This Offseason

BOISBRIAND, QC - DECEMBER 12: Xavier Parent (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
BOISBRIAND, QC - DECEMBER 12: Xavier Parent (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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The Montreal Canadiens have been targeting the QMJHL area more recently for prospects to add to their pipeline. They are often criticized by local media for not having enough Quebecois flavour on the team, but that could change in the near future.

They added veteran free agents Mathieu Perreault, Cedric Paquette and David Savard last offseason. Savard played well, but the two forwards had limited impact.

They also appeared to be adding more prospects from their own backyard as well. They signed Joel Teasdale after a strong QMJHL career. They drafted Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Xavier Simoneau who were undersized, but gritty forwards who had big offensive numbers in the QMJHL.

Of course, that was a previous regime. Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins are out of the organization and Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton are in. It wouldn’t make sense for them to just draft a bunch of QMJHL players to appease the small portion of the fanbase that wants more local players.

However, if they continue in the path Bergevin began, they could add a few previously overlooked players in the late rounds of the 2022 NHL Draft. Or just wait for the draft to end and sign a couple of overaged locals who could hop right on to the AHL roster in the fall.

Teasdale, Harvey-Pinard and Simoneau actually played another season in the QMJHL after signing, or being drafted by the Habs. They could all turn out to be NHL players in the future, and the Canadiens will have added big league local talent for next to nothing.

This is what the Tampa Bay Lightning did with Yanni Gourde and Jonathan Marchessault. They signed each of these small forwards after they were undrafted and had monster seasons to close out their QMJHL careers. Neither player is still with the Lightning, but they both have become good NHL players.

Who could the Habs grab from the QMJHL draft scrap heap?