The Montreal Canadiens have signed one of their most interesting prospects, Jacob De La Rose, to a one-year, one-way contract for 2017-18. The deal will be worth $725K next season. De La Rose was set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
De La Rose, 22, was selected 34th-overall in 2013 and has had a very up and down career thus far. Splitting time between the Canadiens and their AHL affiliate, De La Rose hasn’t been able to make a huge impact at either level. While the one-way contract doesn’t guarantee he’ll be playing in the NHL, it’s a good sign that Montreal believes he can make an impact next season. In 64 games at the top level so far, he has just six points.
The interesting thing about De La Rose is that he may be able to make an impact without registering many points. His defensive acumen has always been his calling card, and size and defensive ability down the middle is something the Canadiens desperately need. Though he still hasn’t shown much ability to create offense on his own, the Canadiens find themselves full of talented offensive wingers who could use someone to take some of the defensive pressure off. While he won’t be put on the top line right away, he still has a chance to develop into a top-six player that leans more defensively but can chip in when surrounded by the right linemates.