Laval added to its list of newcomers for the 2020-21 season on Friday, announcing the signing of Liam Hawel to a one-year, one-way minor league contract.
If the name sounds familiar, Hawel was actually at development camp and rookie camp with the Habs last year while briefly earning an invite to Montreal’s main camp. However, he opted to return to junior for his overage season over participating in camp with Laval.
The decision to go back to the OHL was a good one for the 21-year-old centre as he collected 71 points in just 54 games with Kitchener. The year before, he played on Nick Suzuki’s Guelph team that made it to the Memorial Cup.
Hawel was actually a fourth-round pick of Dallas (101st overall) back in 2017 but the Stars declined to tender him an offer by last June’s deadline. He joins Jesse Ylonen and Arsen Khisamutdinov as new forwards that will be with the Rocket next season, a list that will likely grow with four other junior prospects needing deals by June 1st. GM Marc Bergevin previously suggested that one of those four will be signed.