Florian Xhekaj Puts Pen To Paper With Canadiens

Kent Hughes wasted no time signing the Canadiens 2023 'Draft Unicorn' Florian Xhekaj to his first professional deal.
Hamilton Bulldogs v Windsor Spitfires
Hamilton Bulldogs v Windsor Spitfires / Dennis Pajot/GettyImages

I recently wrote about Montreal Canadiens prospect Florian Xhekaj likely being finished his junior career.

After two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Brantford Bulldogs, Xhekaj's Bulldogs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Xhekaj played well against the 67'S, but they proved to be too tall a task. Fortunately for the Laval Rocket, they had an opportunity to bring the 2023 NHL Draft prospect into the fold.

Well, the Canadiens wasted very little time signing the rugged forward, who is cut from the same cloth as older brother Arber. Florian was brilliant with the Bulldogs, so it's not a huge surprise that Kent Hughes had seen enough to pull the trigger. The club announced on Tuesday that they signed Xhekaj to a three-year entry level contract, which means he could make his professional hockey debut soon enough.

Thankfully for Florian, he can rely on his big brother for any advice and tips or tricks. The excitement for the family can't be overhyped, as he is looking to follow in Arber's footsteps and secure a role in the Canadiens organization in due time. Should he be successful in doing so, it would be the first time that he gets to play with his older brother.

Arber has familiarity both in Laval and Montreal, so it's not crazy to think that he gave his little brother some insights about the guys down in Laval. But as far as advice goes, Florian knows that it just means more of the same, hard work got him to this point, so continuing in the same fashion is most important.

Wednesday morning, Xhekaj had his first practice with the Rocket and one thing is certain, he is a specimen. There aren't many players in the Canadiens prospect pool, nor in Laval or Montreal that are close to the stature of Xhekaj. It's easy to see why the club took a flier on him, and the has got to be so excited to have him join the club.

The 19-year-old, who doesn't turn 20 until the end of June already stands 6 foot 3 and a 10 pound bag of potatoes less than 200 pounds. He is more than likely to play closer to 210 or 215 pounds. In Montreal, only four current forwards weigh more than 210 pounds - Joel Armia, Josh Anderson, Michael Pezzetta and Juraj Slafkovsky.

If Florian is anything like his brother, which he seems to be; given the way he played in junior, he is sure to ruffle the opposition's feathers right out of the gate. With the Canadiens looking to add more skill to the lineup, adding another Xhekaj into the mix; will provide some nice insulation. The brothers of destruction, coined by the WWE's two former superstars - The Undertaker and Kane, seems fitting for the brother's Xhekaj.

If the Bell Centre has rocked in the past, Florian and Arber pulling on the same sweater and going to battle together will cause a seismic reaction from the Habs faithful.