A little more than a month ago, Canadiens prospect Ty Smilanic entered the NCAA’s transfer portal. It appears he has found his new school as multiple reports, including from Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News, have him joining Wisconsin for next season.
The 20-year-old forward was acquired from Florida back in March as part of the Ben Chiarot trade that also yielded the Habs a 2023 first-round pick. He played his sophomore year at Quinnipiac, posting 13 goals and 10 assists in 41 games, per-game rates that were slightly below that of his rookie campaign. He struggled in the second half of the season after returning from the postponed World Juniors (where he was also injured) which evidently warranted a change of scenery.
Wisconsin is a school that should certainly be familiar to Montreal fans as Cole Caufield played there, as did Jack Gorniak (who may return for his bonus year). The Badgers are coming off a tough year that saw them record ten wins while their leading scorers had 22 points, one fewer than Smilanic had. Accordingly, it looks like he should have a chance to play a big role with Wisconsin next season which certainly can’t hurt from a development perspective.
In the past, a player had to sit a year when transferring but that’s no longer the case as each player can do a one-time transfer without having to miss a season. Accordingly, Smilanic’s expected move won’t have any effect on when the Canadiens need to sign him which is by August 15, 2024.