Montreal Canadiens forward Jesse Ylonen
Photo credit: CBC

Jesse Ylonen likely done with the Canadiens this summer

Published March 26, 2024 at 12:25

As the Montreal Canadiens are in the midst of their rebuilding process, General Manager Kent Hughes will have some very important decisions to make this summer.

Indeed, several players from the lineup will see their contracts expire after the 2023-2024 season, thus forcing the Canadiens' GM to decide whether they will be part of the team's long-term plans. Obviously, veterans like Tanner Pearson, Colin White, and Chris Wideman are likely playing their last games with the organization, as they do not fit with the direction the leadership wants to take.

Regarding the upcoming restricted free agents, Arber Xhekaj and Justin Barron will certainly receive a new deal. After all, since his call-up to the big club, the Sheriff has established himself as a cornerstone of the Montreal defensive brigade, currently playing alongside David Savard on the second unit.

As for Justin Barron, despite some struggles this year, it would be very surprising if Kent Hughes agreed to lose him without getting something in return. The General Manager has shown that he excels in managing his assets, and the possibility of Justin Barron leaving the team for free seems simply non-existent.

Moreover, we must not forget that the 25th overall pick in 2020 is only 22 years old. He is far from reaching his full potential, and despite his demotion to the American League, he has very interesting assets that could eventually allow him to establish himself full-time in the NHL.

However, a particular player could leave the organization in the coming months. Indeed, even though expectations were high for Jesse Ylonen, the forward is simply unable to secure a regular spot in Martin St-Louis's lineup. Mostly relegated to the fourth line or sometimes even to the stands, number 56 cannot showcase his offensive skills.

"It will be a quiet summer in terms of contract extension negotiations for Kent Hughes.

The UFAs: Pearson, White, Wideman, Keeper, Stephens, Maillet. They will probably all leave.

The RFAs: Xhekaj, Barron, Ylönen, Andersson, Norlinder, Durandeau, Cederqvist.

Xhekaj and Barron will obviously be qualified and/or extended, I think Durandeau will stay as well.

There are legitimate chances that Ylönen and Norlinder will not be qualified in my opinion, and if so, it won't be difficult to resolve.

And some rumors are already sending Andersson and Cederqvist to Europe next season.

In short, Kent Hughes can focus more on the draft and... trades!" - Marc-Olivier Beaudoin

It's a shame, because I really feel he could flourish and unlock his potential with another team. However, in the current context of the team, his style of play doesn't really fit what is expected of a forward playing on the fourth line.

That's why I think Kent Hughes might decide to sacrifice the 24-year-old forward in order to free up a contract, but also a spot for some prospects who will try to earn a place with the Montreal Canadiens at the next training camp.

Selected 35th overall in the 2018 draft, Jesse Ylonen has only accumulated three goals and four assists in 57 games this year, bringing his total to 28 points in 104 NHL games since his arrival.

Do you believe that the second-round pick is in his last games with the Montreal team?

March 26   |   213 answers
Jesse Ylonen likely done with the Canadiens this summer

Do you think the Canadiens should re-sign Ylonen?

Yes8740.8 %
No12659.2 %
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