Recent Acquisition Leaves Canadiens for KHL Opportunity

The Montreal Canadiens took the chance on a Quebec-native but he is already leaving the franchise to sign in the KHL.
Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens acquired Arnaud Durandeau from the New Jersey Devils on March 11th, 2024, for Nathan Legare. He made an immediate impact with the Laval Rocket, scoring two goals and six assists in ten games. The Rocket had high hopes that he would be a force for their team this season after he had 55 points in 68 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2022-23. However, Durandeau won't be returning to the Canadiens organization. He decided to sign with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL for the 2024-25 season.

Durandeau had a successful career with the Halifax Mooseheads, blending a combination of skill and tenacity. He had 196 points in his QMJHL career before beginning with the New York Islanders organization in 2019-20. Durandeau was a valuable player for the Islanders' farm system but couldn't get a footing with the NHL club. He played just four NHL games during the 2022-23 season, recording zero points and two penalty minutes.

It's a shame that it didn't work out for Durandeau with the Canadiens. It would have been a nice story if he had managed to go up the ladder and get some games with the Canadiens this season. He grew up in Montreal, playing minor hockey with the Lac St. Louis Lions, a historic program in the city. He dominated the Quebec AAA Midget Hockey League in 2014-15, tallying 51 points alongside Joe Veleno. He also became the Mooseheads' highest draft pick since Jonathan Drouin. Durandeau may not have lived up to the expectations after his minor hockey career, and he's likely cashing in with this KHL contract while he still can.