The Habs put pen to paper with one of their defensive prospects on Thursday morning, signing Simon Bourque to a three year entry-level contract. The deal will carry a cap hit of $720,000.
Bourque was a sixth round pick of Montreal back in 2015, being selected 177th overall out of Rimouski of the OHL. He showed signs of being an intriguing offensive blueliner in his draft year and has improved on his production in each season since then. He also didn’t look out of place in a trio of games with St. John’s last year on an amateur tryout deal.
This year, the 20 year old has split time between the Oceanic as well as the Saint John Sea Dogs, where he was dealt to partway through the year. Between the two teams, he has 15 goals and 36 assists through 56 games, good enough for the fifth most points among all QMJHL blueliners.
The deal sets him up to likely play for Laval next season as it’s unlikely he’ll return for an overage season. As things stand, he’ll be in line for plenty of ice time as Montreal’s left side depth on the blueline at the minor league level is quite weak (it’s a major flaw on the IceCaps). While he’s eligible to go to St. John’s once his junior season is up, the Sea Dogs have the top record in the QMJHL and are poised to go on a lengthy playoff run.
Montreal had until June 1st to sign him to a contract or lose his rights. They’ll have similar decisions to make over the next couple of months with two other picks from the 2015 draft in forwards Jeremiah Addison and Matt Bradley.