One of Montreal’s pending restricted free agents is heading for Germany as centre Markus Eisenschmid has signed a two-year contract with Adler Mannheim of the DEL.
The 23-year-old has spent the past three years in the Habs’ farm system, playing under an AHL deal for about half of that time before signing his entry-level deal in January of 2017, the earliest that he could ink a two-year ELC.
This past season, Eisenschmid had a career year with Laval, tallying six goals and ten assists in 57 games. However, staying healthy was once again a challenge, something that had been the case for each of his three seasons with the Rocket and St. John’s IceCaps. When he was in the lineup, he was an effective fourth liner but with the signings from the past couple of months, it looked like there wasn’t going to be a spot for him. A good showing for Germany at last month’s World Championships likely helped garner interest in him as well.
If they want, the Canadiens can still tender Eisenschmid a qualifying offer later this month to retain his NHL rights. This is something they did as recently as last summer with Swedish winger Max Friberg. With the German having four more years until he’s eligible for NHL unrestricted free agency, issuing that qualifying offer seems like a smart move to make in case he makes some strides in his development over the next few years.