Montreal Canadiens give up rights to three young players


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

Let's give credit to the three players who will not be signing with the Canadiens.

The Canadiens selected Nurmi 194th overall in the 2022 draft. The average-sized defenseman spent the 2023-24 season with HPK in the Finnish Liiga, recording two goals and 14 assists. The Canadiens have extremely deep defense in their organization, so it makes sense for them not to use a contract slot for another defenseman.

Nurmi doesn't have any qualities that make him stand out as he's more of a low-profile defender. There are plenty of players they could find like Nurmi if needed and there's no guarantee he'll ever come to North America. Nurmi has been in Finland his entire career.

The Canadiens selected the defenseman 216th out of the QMJHL. Tourigny is an offensive defenseman with four 30+ point seasons in the QMJHL. After retiring from the junior league, Tourigny went to Slovakia for the 2022-23 season and scored 24 points in 39 games.

Tourigny returned to North America in 2023-24 to play in the ECHL for Trois-Rivieres. He scored 38 points in 61 games, but that wasn't enough for the Canadiens to sign him to an NHL contract. It wouldn't be a surprise if Tourigny returned to the Lions next season and continued his search for a bigger contract.

Guindon was the highest pick of the three in the 2022 draft, selected in the fourth round, 127th overall. He finished his OHL career last season in Owen Sound 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 improvement over the next two seasons, scoring 69 points in his second season before dropping to 57 this season.

Guindon has some good qualities, but isn't a big factor to claim one of the ten remaining contract spots. The Canadiens have plenty of RFAs to sign and may want to use the other spots for some big fish in the free agent space.