After Laval cut Miguel Tourigny earlier this week, it looked like the defenceman was heading back to the QMJHL for his overage year. That won’t be the case anymore as he has signed a one-year deal with Dukla Trencin in Slovakia.
The 20-year-old was picked by the Habs back in July in the seventh round (216th overall), continuing their trend of drafting local players late to secure their NHL rights over having to pursue them as free agents. Tourigny is coming off a dominant year in the QMJHL that saw him put up 80 points in 65 games between Blainville-Boisbriand and Acadie-Bathurst, putting him one point off the league lead for points by a defenceman. Of course, it must be stated that the reason he slipped this far is that he’s basically the same size as Lane Hutson and teams are often hesitant to draft defencemen that are 5’8.
With that in mind, there wasn’t much left for him to play for at the major junior level so it appears he and the Canadiens feel that playing professionally overseas is the next best thing as opposed to playing in the ECHL this season. Montreal will still hold his rights next summer and at this point, it seems likely that he’ll sign a deal with Laval for 2023-24 to try to earn himself an entry-level contract from the Habs.