While the undrafted college free agent market is still a few months away from really heating up as the majority of that activity comes at the end of the season, the UFA market for undrafted CHL players is a little different. Players don’t lose their junior eligibility when they sign so they’re free to agree to contracts at any time. One player who is drawing early interest is Vancouver Giants defenseman Dylan Plouffe, reports Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province.
Giants GM Barclay Panetta mentioned that he has increasingly fielded questions from NHL scouts about the 20-year-old blueliner who is off to a strong start to his season with 12 points in 16 games while being known as a strong skater, an increasingly important attribute on the back end. Although he’s currently without a contract, he has caught the attention of teams in the past as he was with Montreal at rookie camp back in September and has also spent time with rookie groups in Vancouver and Arizona.
While Plouffe is free to sign at any time, he still may have to wait a while to put pen to paper on a contract. If he signs now, he’ll burn the first year of his entry-level deal this season and count against the 50-contract limit of whoever signs him. However, if he waits until March, his three-year deal wouldn’t start until 2020-21 which is something that would be more appealing to most teams around the league. The college free agent market often gets the most attention but Plouffe appears to be someone from the junior ranks to keep an eye on over the next little while.