Projecting which restricted free agents will return to the Canadiens in 2024-25

The Montreal Canadiens have quite a few restricted free agents in the system, so who is bound to return next season and even potentially spend time with the big club?
Carolina Hurricanes v Montreal Canadiens
Carolina Hurricanes v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Filip Cederqvist brings a passionate game, but does it warrant an extension?

Filip Cederqvist shows off an energizing game, but his points production hasn’t been there in the AHL, be it with the Buffalo Sabres affiliate, the Rochester Americans, or, more recently, with the Laval Rocket. As of early April, Cederqvist scored just four goals and six points in Laval, and he has yet to show he can be the same effective player he was during his time in the SHL when he put up 32 points in 49 regular season games with Djurgardens in 2021-22.

Regarding Cederqvist, it’s important to remember that he’s only in his second full season in North America, so that should warrant him a qualifying offer so he can gain more experience. Cederqvist plays with a lot of energy, so if he parlays that into sound points production, watch out. 

Lias Andersson is a former first-round pick and a journeyman

The New York Rangers took Lias Andersson with the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and he’s since seen 110 games in the NHL for both New York and the Los Angeles Kings. Andersson, unfortunately, hasn’t stuck with either team, and that landed him in the Canadiens system after he signed in July 2023. 

Andersson’s NHL numbers are forgettable, and they’re not even worth looking at, so let’s judge him more from what he’s been doing in Laval. Overall, he’s shown promise, with 37 points and 18 goals with the Rocket, but he’s put up similar numbers throughout his time in the AHL. At this point, it would be tough to see Hughes hang onto a player whose high-water mark appears to be as a top-end AHL talent. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference and Elite Prospects as of April 5th)