After selecting Juraj Slafkovsky’s number one overall in the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Slovak hit the ice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec, for the first day of the Montreal Canadiens development camp.
The camp is held from the 10th to the 13th, and 40 players, including 23 forwards and 12 defensemen, were invited, including Slafkovsky and Filip Mesar, and is open to the public for the first time in over two years, thanks in large part to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kent Hughes also had a busy morning, two days away from the NHL free agent frenzy, which begins on the 13th, and he was able to lock down both Corey Schueneman and Michael Pezzeta to one-year deals. Schueneman played 24 games this past season with the big club and finished with two goals and four assists.
Pezzeta played 51 games with the Canadiens last season and finished with 11 points ( 5 goals, 6 assists) and led the team with 81 penalty minutes. Montreal also gave a medical update on some prospects dealing with injuries.
Kaiden Guhle, Logan Mailloux, Nick Rheaume, and Arber Xhekaj will not participate in on-ice sessions due to their injuries. Justin Barron, Isreal Mianscum, and Jack Smith will participate but won’t feature in any scrimmages.
Hughes also submitted five qualifying offers to the following players ahead of free agency, and he made offers to Kirby Dach, Nate Schnarr, Joel Teasdale, Samuel Montembault, and Cayden Primeau. A notable player not qualified and who is scheduled to hit free agency is Rem Pitlick.
Hughes mentioned that Pitlick had arbitration rights but didn’t want to risk going to arbitration, meaning he is free to sign with any team as of Wednesday at noon.