Ouellet, 27, actually has 172 NHL games under his belt, even though he rarely stays up in the NHL for more than a few games at a time. His only full season was in 2016-17 when he suited up 66 times for the Detroit Red Wings, and he has played in 31 games with Montreal since arriving in 2018. More importantly, he’s been a leader and rock for the Laval Rocket, where he wore the “C” the last two seasons.
The minor leagues will be where he’s headed again, but having a defenseman with that much NHL experience stashed in the AHL is valuable. He can come up when injuries strike and faces little chance of being claimed on waivers upon his return.