Montreal Canadiens Relinquish Rights To Three Prospects

The Canadiens relinquished the rights to three draft picks from the 2022 draft, including their fourth round selection.
Cedrick Guindon at 2022 Draft
Cedrick Guindon at 2022 Draft / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NHL's deadline for signing players to entry-level prospects was on Saturday, with the Montreal Canadiens opting to use one of their contract slots on Jared Davidson but letting the other three walk. Jared Davidson spent the 2023-24 season on an AHL contract, but registered 11 goals and five assists in 38 games, showing that he was worthy of the Habs giving him a chance to grow his game. Davidson has the ceiling of a bottom-six guy in the NHL, but every bit of forward depth counts for the Canadiens in their rebuild.

Let's give recognition to the three players that won't be signing with the Canadiens.

Petteri Nurmi

The Canadiens drafted Nurmi with the 194th overall selection in the 2022 draft. The average-sized defenseman spent the 2023-24 season with HPK in the Finnish Liiga, registering two goals and 14 assists. The Canadiens have an extreme amount of defenseman depth in their organization, so it makes sense for them not to use a contract slot on another blueliner.

Nurmi doesn't possess qualities that make him stand out, as he's more of an under-the-radar defender. There are plenty of players they could find, like Nurmi if needed, and there's no guarantee that he will ever come to North America. Nurmi has been in Finland his entire career.

Miguel Tourigny

The Canadiens used the 216th overall selection on the defenseman from the QMJHL. Tourigny is an offensive defenseman with four 30+ point seasons in the QMJHL. After aging out from junior, Tourigny went to Slovakia for the 2022-23 season, tallying 24 points in 39 games.

Tourigny returned to North America in 2023-24 to play in the ECHL with Trois-Rivieres. He had 38 points in 61 games, but it wasn't enough for the Canadiens to sign him to an NHL deal. It wouldn't be surprising to see Tourigny return to the Lions next season and continue his quest to earn a bigger deal.

Cedrick Guindon

Guindon was the highest pick among these three in the 2022 draft, going in the fourth round, 127th overall. He finished his OHL career in Owen Sound this past season, with 57 points in 68 games.

Guindon had a great draft year in the OHL, scoring 30 goals and 59 points in 68 games. Unfortunately, he didn't show much growth over the next two seasons, getting 69 points in his second season before regressing to 57 this season.

Guindon has some good qualities but isn't a big enough factor to warrant using one of the ten remaining contract slots. The Canadiens have plenty of RFAs to sign and may want to use the other slots on some big fish in free agency.