Remaining Montreal Canadiens Free Agents Targets

Remaining Montreal Canadiens Free Agents Targets

The early days of free agency are over. The Montreal Canadiens have been noticeably quiet, as the only notable player they signed was Alex Barre-Boulet. The Canadiens were unwilling to give the term that some of the big names in free agency were seeking and therefore sat out. However, there are still a number of interesting names on the board that the Canadiens could pursue. These three players are low-risk, high-reward options that could potentially thrive in the Canadiens system. Let’s take a look at three remaining players that the Montreal Canadiens should pursue in free agency.

Remaining Canadiens Free Agent Targets

Barrett Hayton

Barrett Hayton was one of the more notable players who did not receive a qualifying offer from their club. Hayton, 24, was a restricted free agent, but the Utah Hockey Club decided not to qualify him this summer, making him a free agent. He has struggled with injuries and has never really found his feet at the NHL level.

Hayton was drafted fifth overall in 2018 and can play center or wing. With Arizona transferring to Utah, they felt it was time to move on from Hayton. However, a change of scenery might be just what he needs and Kent Hughes could provide that. If all goes well, Hayton could prove why he was drafted fifth overall and finally reach his potential in Montreal. Either way, a young player of Hayton’s stature is worth taking a chance on, even if it doesn’t work out.

Adam Boqvist

Originally drafted by Chicago, Boqvist was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of a package that sent Seth Jones to the Blackhawks. Drafted eighth overall in 2018, Boqvist will be 24 when the new season begins. Boqvist has never fully realized his potential, but he has solid offensive instincts from the back end and could be a nice project on defense.

The Canadiens are thin on the right side and adding a player like Boqvist would help fill that void. It would also make it easier to trade Jordan Harris and Jayden Struble. Boqvist still has a high ceiling and could provide a boost to the offense from the back end and even help on the power play for the Canadiens. If utilized and developed properly, Boqvist would be a welcome addition at a low cost.

Alexander Nylander

Nylander has flourished in Columbus after being traded from Pittsburgh earlier in the season, amassing 11 goals and 15 points in just 23 games with the Jackets, making their decision not to sign him questionable. The former eighth overall pick by the Sabres in 2016 has struggled since entering the league.

At 26, Nylander’s only real taste of success has been his tenure in Columbus. However, if he can build on that momentum and get a legitimate crack at the top six, it’s likely he’ll have a breakout year. Nylander adds size and skill to a top six that desperately lacks both.

All three of these options would be solid for the Canadiens. The trio all fit the team’s age range and are low-risk players. Under Martin St. Louis, we could see one of them revive his career in Montreal. Even if they don’t pan out, they’re worth taking a chance on. This is especially true if Hughes exhausts the trade market and can’t bolster his team for the regular season. The Canadiens need some offensive help, and that could come in the form of three former top-10 picks who need a fresh start.

Main photo: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports