The Habs added to their prospect pool late on Saturday, inking free agent forward Hayden Verbeek to a three-year, entry-level contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 20-year-old is in his fourth full season with the OHL’s Sault-Ste. Marie Greyhounds and had a career year during the regular season. After scoring just a combined 29 goals in his first three junior campaigns, he put up 30 in 2017-18, ranking fifth on the team. Worth noting is that all but one of those goals were tallied at even strength (25) or shorthanded (four). He also put up 31 helpers to finish with 61 points in 67 games.
Verbeek’s uncle is long-time NHLer Pat Verbeek, who played over 1,400 career NHL contests. The two share a similar trait when it comes to size as Montreal’s newest prospect checks in at just 5’10.
The annual OHL Coaches Poll was released last week and Verbeek’s name came up a couple of times. He finished second in the Western Conference for the Hardest Working Player for the second straight season (after finishing first in 2015-16) while he was third in the West for Best Skater.
The contract doesn’t begin until next season so this isn’t a scenario where he will play right away and burn a year of his contract like some players leaving college will do in the coming weeks. He’ll likely push for a spot in Laval next season.