The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they have signed defenceman Cale Fleury to a three-year entry-level contract. The contract carries him through the 2020-21 season. Cale is the younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Haydn Fleury.
The Canadiens have agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with defenseman Cale Fleury.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) October 4, 2018
Canadiens Sign Cale Fleury
Cale Fleury was originally drafted by the Canadiens in the third round, 87th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He played his junior hockey with the Kootenay Ice until he was traded to the Regina Pats last season.
Fleury really stepped up his offensive game last season as he scored 12 goals and added 39 assists for 51 points in 68 games. He also finished with a plus 17 rating. Much better than the -61 rating he put up the previous year.
Over his junior career, Fleury scored 32 goals and added 95 assists for 127 points. He helped lead the Regina Pats to the Memorial Cup last season where they eventually lost to Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Fleury is a hard-hitting two-way defenceman with a powerful shot. He is also a very strong skater. Fleury is a very hard player to play against as he is very strong on the puck. Opponents have a hard time winning puck battles in the corner with Fleury. He already has NHL size standing at 6’1′ and over 200 lbs at just 19 years of age. Fleury looks to be one of the steals from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
What This Means for the Future
Rather than play his overage year in junior, Fleury will now begin his pro career with the Canadiens AHL affiliate Laval Rocket. This will be huge for Fleury’s development as he will get to play under new head coach Joel Bouchard. As well, he will get to play against some stiffer competition and play behind another Habs defence prospect Brett Lernout who has some NHL experience. He will gain some valuable experience this year at the AHL level and could potentially earn himself a call-up to the NHL if there are any unfortunate injuries.
This will greatly benefit his growth moving forward as he will try to earn a spot on the Canadiens roster as early as next season. The Fleury signing shows how Montreal is committed to their youth movement and developing their own prospects to get their team back into Stanley Cup contention.
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