The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenceman Gustav Olofsson to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will take Olofsson through the 2020-21 season. It will pay up to $750 thousand if Olofsson is in the NHL. The Canadiens announced the signing late Wednesday morning.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 25, 2020
Canadiens Sign Gustav Oloffson
The Minnesota Wild originally took Olofsson in the second round of the 2013 Draft. The 6’3″ defender would play in only 56 games over three seasons with Minnesota. Olofsson totalled just 11 points, all assist, in those games. He was a little more productive with the organization’s AHL affiliate; he scored eight goals and 41 points in 112 games playing in Iowa.
Montreal acquired Olofsson in the fall of 2018 in exchange for Will Bitten. Olofsson was hurt for part of this season but still appeared in three games for Montreal. Otherwise, he scored one goal and 16 points in 57 games for the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in Laval. Olofsson doesn’t have a record of being a strong offensive player but he did record 23 hits and 44 blocks in 41 games with Minnesota in 2017-18. His size gives him one useful trait even if he won’t be a scoring option.
What to Expect from Oloffson
This is a depth signing for Montreal. Olofsson’s only use at this point in his career is as a physical enforcer and penalty killer. He could turn into a more effective option if he plays more in the NHL but at 25-years-old, there isn’t much more he can do to develop physically. However, teams still like big, physical players so Olofsson might always have a roster spot if he can kill penalties effectively.
Montreal could look at Olofsson as an option on the 2020-21 blueline. Most of their current defenders are still under contract but they could trade one or two before NHL play resumes. They also have decisions to make on Christian Folin and Xavier Ouellet. Olofsson could challenge for a regular spot on the bottom defensive pairing.