Habs sign Jared Davidson to two-year entry-level deal

Jared Davidson made a strong impression during his debut professional season, scoring the third most goals on the Laval Rocket.
Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens agreed to terms on a two-year entry-level contract with prospect Jared Davidson.

After playing out the 2023-24 season on a standard American Hockey League contract, the club decided to extend him. Davidson played quite well in his first professional season, further cementing that he is a bit of a late riser. While his ceiling right now only looks to be a fourth-liner at the NHL level, he isn’t done growing his game. 

With that said, he certainly fits the Canadiens cultural direction. Davidson is a mature player, who exhibited leadership during the final two seasons of his junior career. Habs management is counting on his experience and lessons learned during that time shaping him into a bona fide NHL talent. 

His defensive game needs a little more work to be up to par and that will come with the repetition and professional-level coaching. But his offensive zone awareness is something that could prove to be important, especially as he builds on it more. Then there is the shot, he used it a ton in junior and at times during his rookie year in the AHL and it is one of his strengths.

For an organization that needs more goal support, putting the pen to paper with Davidson makes a lot of sense. And because of the onus on development, so long as Davidson works hard and continues to show promise he will have every opportunity to chase his NHL dream. Montreal took a chance on late bloomer Arber Xhekaj and that seemed to work out quite well. 

Furthermore, they also drafted Florian Xhekaj ahead of where many would have selected him. And Xhekaj exploded offensively for the Brantford Bulldogs, all while still playing his hardnosed, physically charged style. Not every late pick will be a diamond in the rough, but high-character guys often work out because they are willing to put in the work. 

I would look for Davidson to raise his game to another level, leveraging his shiny new deal as motivation. With the younger players funnelling into the Rocket organization, Davidson will likely have some talented linemates. And with them, the hope is that they will mesh together well and bring the Rocket one step closer to an AHL championship.