Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: LeDevoir

Major Decision to Come for Kent Hughes: Talented Forward May Be in His Final Days With the Organization

Published March 2, 2024 at 4:36 PM

Despite another disappointing season for the Montreal Canadiens, several players have shown encouraging progress this year. Indeed, we only need to consider the team's first line, namely Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Juraj Slafkovsky, who are increasingly asserting themselves as leading players in the NHL.

We should also not forget young talents like Kaiden Guhle, Jayden Struble, Alex Newhook, and Arber Xhekaj who, despite some difficult moments, continue to improve and take new steps in their development process.

While these players have taken advantage of the opportunities provided by Martin St-Louis to elevate their game, the same cannot be said for a particular player. Indeed, although Jesse Ylonen was used a few times on the third line (and a few games on the second line), the Finnish forward has been unable to prove that he deserves a more offensive role.

Is it the end for Jesse Ylonen in Montreal?

Knowing that the 24-year-old right winger was primarily drafted for his offensive skills, it's legitimate to wonder if he will remain with the organization this summer. After all, he will become a restricted free agent, but his contribution on the ice does not give him many arguments to secure a contract extension with the Canadiens.

"I just realized that Ylonen will be an RFA this summer. Should the Canadiens qualify him?" - HabsfanTV

Moreover, Ylonen was not a choice of the new management, having been selected during Marc Bergevin's era. With only three goals and four assists (7 points) in 46 games, it's likely he will not be a priority for the general manager in the coming months.

He seems destined to play a role on the fourth line, despite numerous injuries within the organization. The problem is that his style of play does not quite fit what a coach requires from his fourth-line forwards, making him not very effective in the role he currently holds.

Furthermore, players like Joshua Roy, Owen Beck, and possibly even Filip Mesar will try to make their place in the Montreal roster in 2024-2025, greatly diminishing the importance of having Jesse Ylonen in the lineup.

Kent Hughes has a big decision to make regarding the former second-round pick (35th overall in 2018), but it would not be surprising if the days of the 6'1" forward in Montreal are numbered. After all, he possesses interesting offensive potential, and a new opportunity in a team that can insert him into the top 9 could be greatly beneficial to him.

Do you believe the Canadiens should offer him a new deal?

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March 2   |   768 answers
Major Decision to Come for Kent Hughes: Talented Forward May Be in His Final Days With the Organization

Should the Canadiens re-sign Ylonen?

Yes30239.3 %
No46660.7 %
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