While it seemed like the Habs didn’t have any prospects to sign by the June 1st deadline, it turns out they did. When the league updated the reserve lists following the deadline, Casey Staum was taken off of Montreal’s, meaning he is no longer their property. Here’s why.
Staum was selected in the fifth round back in 2016 and was originally committed to go to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for 2017-18. That wound up not happening as he stayed in the USHL for another season. As a result of him doing so, the window in which to sign him changed to two years.
Staum did not submit his letter of College intent prior to June 1st, 2018 as he may wind up back in the USHL next season; his rights were dealt from Dubuque to Chicago last month. That reverts him back to typical North American junior status which is the two-year signing window that expired back on Friday.
Losing his rights isn’t a big loss for the Habs by any stretch. He was injured for most of the season in Dubuque and while he has always been known as a strong skater, that skill alone isn’t enough to be considered a legitimate NHL prospect.
The Canadiens drafted four defencemen back in 2016 with mixed results. Mikhail Sergachev and Victor Mete have both established themselves in the NHL already while Arvid Henrikson, their seventh-rounder, is still a long-term project who has two years left to sign.