Charles Hudon’s future with the Habs was already a bit murky and it appears teams elsewhere are aware of that as he has received interest from teams in the Swiss NLA and the KHL according to reports from Le Matin and La Presse.
It has been a tale of two seasons for the 25-year-old. With Laval, he has been a dominant scorer, tallying 27 goals in just 46 games which is good for fifth in the league. He would have been higher on the list had it not been for 15 games with the Habs. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as well in the NHL as he has just a single goal and one assist in those contests while averaging 11:32 per night. This season has shown that Hudon may just be one of those players that’s not quite good enough for the NHL but is a top player in the AHL similar to what happened with Daniel Carr recently.
Hudon is eligible for restricted free agency with salary arbitration rights this offseason. He’s owed a two-way qualifying offer of $840,000 to retain his rights and with the limited NHL success he has had over the last two years (including clearing waivers), he doesn’t have a ton of leverage. Worth noting is that the qualifier is a two-way pact despite Hudon being on a one-way contract this season.
It’s that particular element that may be part of the reason teams from other leagues are sniffing around. If a one-way deal isn’t on the table, he could very well make more playing internationally while hoping to hone his skills to take a shot at another NHL contract down the road. However, his agent Allain Roy indicated that Hudon’s focus is to play in the NHL next season at this time.
Something that will inevitably complicate things for players moving from North America to teams overseas is the fact that the NHL season isn’t officially done yet. If play resumes in the summer, the deadline for qualifying offers won’t be late June. Instead, that could plausibly role into late August or even September depending on when the playoffs end which would create a very narrow window for players in Hudon’s situation to see if they’re qualified or let go and if it’s the latter, there would be limited time to shop around with international leagues likely to start up at their usual times. Accordingly, it’s unlikely that his future with Montreal isn’t going to be determined for a while yet.