The Habs dipped their toes into the college free agent market on Saturday as they inked defenceman Tom Parisi to a two year entry level deal that begins in the 2016-17 season.
Parisi finished his college career on Friday night as his Providence Friars fell to Minnesota-Duluth in double overtime in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The 22 year old played a full four seasons at the college level, picking up 12 goals and 43 assists in 144 games to go along with 96 PIMS and a +46 rating. This season, he had a goal and 15 assists in 38 games with 24 PIMS and a +12 rating; he also led the Friars with 43 blocked shots.
The 5’11 rearguard will add some depth to the left side of Montreal’s defence corps, an area that is in dire need of depth (and talent). The prospects that the Habs have on that side of the back end are Simon Bourque, Joel Hanley, and Mac Bennett. With all due respect to Hanley’s current hot streak with the Habs, none of those players project as significant contributors down the road.
Parisi is a strong skater who plays a strong two-way game. Unfortunately, his size does work against him when it comes to dealing with bigger opponents although he does well to keep them to the outside on the rush. The Habs had a look at him at their development camp in July and would have had a good look at him this season as 2014 draftee Hayden Hawkey also played in Providence.
The reported breakdown of the contract is as follows:
2016-17: $667,500 NHL salary, $70,000 AHL salary, $257,500 in GP bonuses, $92,500 signing bonus
2017-18: $767,500 NHL salary, $70,000 AHL salary, $157,500 in GP bonuses, $92,500 signing bonus
Following St. John’s loss to the Marlies on Saturday, Parisi inked a tryout contract with the IceCaps and will finish off the season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate.