Now 25, Ouellet has had quite the odd start to his NHL career. After being selected in the second round by the Detroit Red Wings in 2011, he quickly made his way through their system and debuted in the NHL during the 2013-14 season. By 2017, he signed a two-year $2.5MM extension with the Red Wings after spending the entire year in the NHL, but saw that contract bought out just a year later. It’s rare you see a player that young bought out, and it actually comes with different rules. The Red Wings were forced to pay out just one third of the remaining salary, ~$433K spread over two years.
Ouellet, then an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year two-way contract with the Canadiens to continue his career. While he played 19 games for Montreal, his real impact came at the minor league level where the Laval Rocket named him captain in February after a trade took Byron Froese out of town. Oullet ended up with 28 points in 47 games for the Rocket as their primary puck-mover on the blue line, and now heads into next season as the young captain of a squad trying to make their way in the AHL.
He also represents some important depth for the Canadiens, given that he does have 160 games under his belt at the NHL level. Ouellet will be waiver eligible, meaning he’ll have to clear after training camp if the team wants him to reclaim his position with the Rocket to start the year.