The Anaheim Ducks have finally decided the fate of rookie Max Comtois, who found himself on the outside of Anaheim’s top-six in recent weeks. Despite having already burned the first year of his entry-level deal and the fact that the team couldn’t send the 19-year-old prospect to the AHL, the team decided to return him to the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, according to TVA’s Mikael Lalancette (translation required).
Comtois provided the Ducks with a young top-six forward at the start of the season when the team was overwhelmed with injuries to many of their veterans, including Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Ondrej Kase were placed on injured reserve to start the season. While some of those players starting getting healthy, other players went down after that, including Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg, allowing Comtois to continue his play. The rookie reached the 10-game mark with successful numbers, posting two goals and seven assists, before having to go on injured reserve himself with a lower-body injury. Once returned, the team sent him on a conditioning loan to the AHL where he scored just once in four appearances. However, with most of Anaheim’s veterans returned and the team starting to show success, there was little opportunity for playing time at the NHL level and the team was forced to make a decision about Comtois. While he had already burned the first year of his entry-level deal by one game, the team was not allowed to send him to the AHL permanently. So to guarantee quality playing time, the team had to return him to his junior team.
It’s a big deal for his new junior team, however, as he will return to the QMJHL for his final season there, but now joins the Drummondville Voltigeurs, who gave up a fortune in draft capital to acquire Comtois’ rights from the Victoriaville Tigres back in June. Drummondville gambled on moving their 2018 first and second-round picks as well as their 2019 first and second-round picks to get Comtois only to see him make Anaheim’s roster, which looked like a disaster in October. Instead, the gamble paid off as the Voltigeurs get the star forward after all for a team competing for a title this year as they currently boast the fifth-overall record in the QMJHL.