The Montreal Canadiens organization is focused on preparing for the upcoming NHL Draft which will take place on June 28th and 29th. The draft combine has just wrapped up and the team had a chance to meet with the top prospects and see how they perform on physical and medical testing.
While the draft is certainly at the top of their list of priorities right now, they do have other matters to take care of as well. They were able to do some housekeeping.
The Canadiens signed a pair of players that will play for the Laval Rocket next season. Riley McKay and John Parker-Jones have both signed one-year AHL-only contracts for the 2023-24 season and will return to the Rocket next season.
McKay is a 24 year old forward who started last season in the ECHL with the Trois-Rivieres Lions. He played 25 games there, scoring eight goals and ten points. He also played 23 games in the AHL with the Rocket where he scored two goals and seven points. He also added 118 minutes in penalties, showing he is a feisty winger that isn’t afraid to mix things up.
At 6’0 and 203 pounds, McKay is the smaller of the two players who signed today. Much smaller.
Parker-Jones is a 6’7″ and 230 pound right shot that also isn’t scared to get his nose dirty. He doesn’t spend nearly as much time in the box as McKay, but the 23 year old uses his size to his advantage on the ice to clear the front of the net and get in on the forecheck. He actually split time last season between defense and right wing, chipping in 11 points in 17 ECHL games and three points in 20 games with the Rocket.
The Canadiens will make bigger signings this offseason, but have rewarded a couple of hardworking young players with contract extensions. Now that they have a taste of the AHL game, they should be ready to compete for an everyday role with the Rocket and could prove to be valuable depth at that level.
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