The Habs and Kings made a minor swap on Thursday, swapping a pair of
underachieving prospects. Montreal picks up forward Robbie Czarnik while
Steve Quailer heads to Los Angeles. Both players were third round picks in
the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and have yet to accomplish anything of note at the AHL
level let alone in the NHL.
Czarnik, a 6’0, 189 lb centre, was a scorer at the junior level but that has
yet to translate into much success professionally. In just shy of two full
seasons in the OHL (after leaving the University of Michigan partway through the
2009-10 season), he had 126 points (50-76-126) in just 104 games. He has
spent the past 2.5 seasons with the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester. He
had a quality rookie season with the Monarchs, where he collected 23 points in
49 games but he has managed just 11 in 80 games since then. He has played
29 games this year, collecting just a single goal and four assists.
Czarnik was the 63rd overall pick in 2008.
Quailer has seen his season derailed by injuries, something that was also
common in his college career (where he was redshirted for a season due to
injury). After being listed as day-to-day by the Bulldogs for over six
weeks (it’s not just the big club who is sketchy with injuries), he was cleared
to play a couple of weeks ago. Despite that, he didn’t get into a single
game after getting the green light medically so the writing was clearly on the
wall. Quailer last played on November 29th and has a goal and four assists
in 12 games so far this season. He was the 86th overall pick in 2008.
Both players are in the final year of their entry-level contracts.
Czarnik has a cap hit of $569,167 at the NHL level while Quailer has a $650,000
cap hit (with another $225,000 in potential bonuses). Neither was likely
to receive a qualifying offer from their former clubs at the end of the season,
making this essentially a 2.5 month tryout to earn a contract for next year.
Both players have already been assigned to the AHL.