On Thursday, GM Bob Gainey announced the signing of depth defenceman Jean-Phillipe Cote to a 2 year contract. As per team policy, financial terms were not disclosed. The 22 year old rearguard stands at 6’3, and 207 pounds.
Last season, Cote played for Montreal’s AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, scoring 2 goals, along with 7 assists, and 79 penalty minutes. He also led the Bulldogs in +/-, with a +27 rating. In the postseason, Cote stepped it up offensively, collecting 4 assists in just 10 games, plus 24 minutes in the box.
Cote was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000, (9th round, 265th overall), but joined the Canadiens organization after he was not offered a contract by the Leafs in 2003. He participated in the Habs’ 2003 training camp as a tryout, before signing a minor league deal with Hamilton before the 2003-04 campaign. It is highly anticipated that Cote will spend the season with the Bulldogs, although he has been invited to Montreal’s camp scheduled for next month.
Did you know? J-P Cote is the son of Alain Cote, who played for the Quebec Nordiques (now Colorado Avalanche) between 1980 and 1989.