The Montreal Canadiens tried to find a trade partner in recent days to avoid losing Jacob de La Rose for nothing, but weren’t able to get a deal done. Today, exactly what they’d feared has happened as the Detroit Red Wings claimed de La Rose off waivers.
Still just 23 years old, de La Rose is a perfect example of a player needing a fresh start with a new organization. Selected 34th overall in 2013, he failed to turn into a full-time player for the Canadiens due to his lack of offensive growth, and was bounced up and down between the AHL and NHL for several seasons. Last year saw him play in a career-high 55 contests for Montreal, but with just 12 points to show for it there was little reason for optimism coming into 2018-19. Those doubts were only compounded when de La Rose suffered a cardiac episode near the end of training camp which held him out of the lineup, a minor condition that he has recovered from.
In Detroit, de La Rose will be tested to see if he can be a building block for the future. The Red Wings are not expected to contend for the playoffs this season, but are building an exciting young group of players that should turn things around over the next few years. Since he won’t turn 24 until May, there is certainly still time for de La Rose to prove that he can be a part of that turnaround, and in Detroit should get every chance to. The big, speedy winger is signed through 2019-20 with a cap hit of $900K.