It’s college free agent season and one of the top names available is Princeton’s Max Veronneau. The 23-year old forward recorded 37 points in 31 games this year and has apparently attracted teams from all around the NHL. Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that at least 25 teams had expressed interest in Veronneau, who is an unrestricted free agent and can sign anywhere he wants.
According to McKenzie, both the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers are teams making a “major push” to sign Veronneau, who enters the market as one of the most dynamic free agents available. The Ottawa native recorded 144 points in 130 games during his Princeton career, including a whopping 55 last season to trail only Adam Gaudette for the leading scorer in the nation. Adding that kind of offensive presence for nothing more than a contract slot is exactly what teams like the Senators and Oilers have to do in order to fill their ranks and build a successful program.
Veronneau has previously spent time with the Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings in various development camps, but it is not clear if those teams have made an effort to sign him.
Because Veronneau is already 23, the maximum contract he can sign is a two-year entry-level deal. Teams could potentially offer up the chance to burn the first year of that deal by signing it for this season, a negotiating tactic top college players often take. That would mean Veronneau would become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2020, though we’ll have to wait and see what he secures in the coming days.