Luke Tuch to sign with Canadiens

Tuch will look to keep growing his power forward game and adding to his offensive game. Adam Nicholas will now be able to put his teaching skills into play one-on-one.
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

The Boston University Terriers season coming to an end has been generous to the Montreal Canadiens, with Luke Tuch close to signing his entry-level contract, following Lane Hutson who did so recently.

In a move that was highly anticipated since the Canadiens made quick work getting Hutson inked and over to join the Habs, Tuch is reportedly very close to putting a bow on his NCAA career. He does grab attention in headlines quite like Hutson does, but he is sure to be a big piece for the Laval Rocket next year. After that, it's hard to predict where he plays and what his potential is, but he presents something that the Habs severely lack.

Size is a huge factor in the postseason, and the Canadiens don't have a ton of it. Thankfully, the club has Juraj Slafkovsky and Kirby Dach in their top six. But there aren't many other big players, and those two players aren't big physical presences in the corners and open ice.

Tuch, however, is a big body, who plays a power game and is very gritty on the backcheck and forecheck. If he plays in the Canadiens' bottom six one day, they will have a physical player on the wing, who keeps opponents honest with his heavy-checking style. The skill up top is very important, but having grit in the lineup is crucial during long, gruelling series.

I can envision two-thirds of a great fourth line that will not be fun to play against. Throw Tuch onto the wing, the Florian Xhekaj down the middle of the ice and that is a whole lot of scrappy and mean forward to deal with. Next season, both players will be available for the Laval Rocket, so there may be an opportunity to see the pair on a line together.

Hockey has become more a track meet than a physically punishing game, but that doesn't mean hitting has lost its importance. Arber Xhekaj and Michael Pezzetta have proven that down in Montreal, they use physicality to their benefit and to help the team. Tuch and Florian will do more of the same and be important when grinding down teams and getting under their skin.

Tuch's senior year in the NCAA was his best from a production standpoint, with a 10-20-30 stat line through 39 games. His previous best was 20 points through 40 games, including nine goals and 11 assists, both of which were career-highs at the time. So with his increased production and rugged style, he will be a nice addition to the Habs roster when they are ready to compete for a Stanley Cup.

Filling the net will make the team difficult to play against, but playing against bruising opponents will be equally as important.