Montreal Canadiens forwards Michael Pezzetta and Jesse Ylonen and defenseman Justin Barron
Photo credit: Montreal Gazette

Young Winger Officially Done in the Canadiens Organization?

Published March 11, 2024 at 9:25

During the last Montreal Canadiens game, Martin St-Louis decided to scratch Jesse Ylonen from the lineup to make room for Michael Pezzetta on the team's fourth line.

The energy player had a good performance, leaving a strong impression with his intensity and physical play.

Unlike Ylonen, who has a very average performance and brings almost nothing useful to the team besides a bit of speed, Pezzetta allows the Canadiens to add some toughness to their lineup.

"I have long defended Jesse Ylonen and his presence in the lineup due to a few qualities he had (shooting + skating) but I doubt he has a future in the NHL, at least with the Canadiens.

I prefer what Pezzetta brings and I would not be surprised if Ylonen leaves this summer." - Marc-Olivier Beaudoin

Despite having superior offensive skills to Pezzetta, Ylonen simply fails to make his mark with the Canadiens. Furthermore, even though he has had stints in the top-9, and even some usage in the top-6 at times during the season, the Finnish forward only produced three goals and seven points in 51 games.

As for Pezzetta, with a role exclusively on the fourth line, he produced the same number of goals but accumulated three more points, totaling 10, in 45 games.

An Imminent End for Jesse Ylonen?

This year, Ylonen is in his last contract year before becoming a free agent this summer. At 24 years old, he was supposed to make his mark to earn a new deal with the club.

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

However, given his almost negligible performance with the Tricolore, it seems that the end is near for him in Montreal.

With a plethora of young talent pushing within the organization, the number of spots will become increasingly limited, and Kent Hughes will need to manage his contracts to respect the league's 50-contract limit.

Because of this, it would be highly surprising if the Canadiens' GM extends Ylonen's services with the club beyond this season. Moreover, with only 18 games left in the season, he might even have played his last game in the Canadiens' blue-white-red uniform.

Credit: Habs et LNH
March 11   |   259 answers
Young Winger Officially Done in the Canadiens Organization?

Should the Canadiens qualify Jesse Ylonen this summer?

Yes10942.1 %
No15057.9 %
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