Another minor league forward will avoid Group VI unrestricted free agency, as Laurent Dauphin has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The deal carries a $750K salary at the NHL level and includes a minor league guarantee of $215K. He was set to become a UFA after his one-year 2020-21 contract expired.
It’s now been multiple seasons since the last time Dauphin hit the ice for an NHL game, playing a single contest for the Arizona Coyotes in 2018-19. Overall, he has just 35 games at that level and has been mostly limited to the minor leagues. Selected 39th overall in 2013, he has settled into an important role for the Laval Rocket, scoring 16 points in 21 games this season. That’s likely where he’ll be back again next year, though with a nice AHL guarantee in his pocket.
Dauphin was one of a number of pending unrestricted free agents in the Canadiens organization, including fellow minor league Group VI players Brandon Baddock and Gustav Olofsson. Despite still being very much alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Montreal’s front office has a long list of things to get done this summer. Taking care of contracts like this one for Dauphin is easy enough to do while the NHL team is still playing, and will shorten the workload over the next few weeks.
Like any move being made lately, the expansion implications are important to mention. Dauphin will be eligible for selection by the Kraken, but does not fulfill any of the exposure requirements for the Canadiens. The likelihood of him being picked is just about zero, given the other options that will be available to Seattle.