Free agent defenseman Xavier Ouellet has agreed to join the Montreal Canadiens. He signs a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 at the NHL level, with $350,000 guaranteed. Ouellet became a free agent when he was bought out by the Detroit Red Wings in June.
The Canadiens agree to terms on a one-year, two-way contract ($700k NHL & $275k – guaranteed salary $350k) with free agent defenseman Xavier Ouellet. #GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 1, 2018
Montreal Canadiens Sign Free Agent Xavier Ouellet
In Xavier Ouellet, the Habs get a player who has not quite found his place at the NHL level yet. Coming up through juniors, and the AHL, Ouellet proved to be a strong puck-moving defenseman. His new club hopes that he can adapt, perform, and develop with a change of scenery. Last season, the 24-year-old recorded just seven assists in 45 games played. He also added six minutes in penalties. His possession numbers are 50.1 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of +1.5. Those totals are down compared to the 2016-17 season, where he scored three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 66 games.
Ouellet has spent his entire five-year NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings. He was originally drafted in the second round, 18th overall of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. Ouellet has scored five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 141 career NHL games. He has appeared in just one career Stanley Cup Playoff game and did not record a point.
Ouellet was not working out in Detroit, and this move gives him an opportunity to jump-start his career with a new franchise. The Montreal Canadiens hope that he is able to find the potential that made him a second-round pick. His junior coach, Joel Bouchard, is the head coach of the Habs AHL affiliate in Laval. At 24-years-old, Ouellet is young enough that he could be a late bloomer.
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