Montreal’s farm team will soon be getting some help as Jesse Ylonen’s team in the SM-liiga (Pelicans) announced that he will be loaned to Laval after the weekend for the rest of the season.
While the slight delay may seem a little odd on the surface, it also serves as a road map for things to come. March 1st (this coming Sunday) is the first day that players can sign future contracts (those beginning in 2020-21). It’s likely that Ylonen will sign one at that time which will give him the contract security to play the rest of the year on loan with the Rocket. He’ll sign a PTO to finish up the season with Laval and if it plays out like this, he won’t be eligible to see any action with the Habs.
Ylonen was a second-round pick of the Canadiens back in 2018 (35th overall) after a strong offensive season in Finland’s second-tier league. He then transferred to Pelicans for the 2018-19 campaign and while his offensive numbers have dipped slightly this season, that team as a whole has struggled to score; his 22 points in 53 games are fourth on the team.
With the dearth of players that have some offensive upside in Laval, the 20-year-old should get a chance to play a big role with the Rocket down the stretch. This opportunity will give him a chance to get acclimated to playing on smaller ice before beginning his three-year, entry-level deal next year.