The Montreal Canadiens have just added another forward to their line up.
According to a report from the Canadiens official website, the organization has just agreed to a new contract with 23 year old former first round pick Hunter Shinkaruk. The Canadiens have reported both the term and the financial details of this contract and according to the official word from the team this will be a one year contract that will see Shinkaruk earning the National Hockey League's minimum salary of $650,000. Another important detail of this contract is that it is a two way deal that will pay Shinkaruk $80,000 at the American Hockey League level and this would indicate to me that the Canadiens intend to have him spending significant time in the AHL.
Shinkaruk is a former first round pick of the Vancouver Canucks organization when he was selected 24th overall in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The Canucks selected him that high because of what was believed to be his extreme potential ceiling however Shinkaruk has never delivered on any of the promise that he showed as a young man. In fact one year prior to being drafted 24th overall a young Shinkaruk had been ranked as high as 1st overall on the lists of some NHL scouts, but his career has seemingly taken a downward spiral from there.
Shinkaruk has seen very little playing time at the NHL level since being drafted, just a total of 15 games played split between both the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks and has also found himself traded several times. The Canucks clearly gave up on him when they moved him to the Calgary Flames following a devastating injury that cost him a full year, and earlier today the Flames orchestrated a trade to send him to the Canadiens, seemingly for the same reason.
The Flames traded Shinkaruk today to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for another first round pick who has largely shown himself to be a bust thus far in Kerby Rychel. Like Shinkaruk last season Rychel spent nearly the entire 2017 - 2018 regular season in the American Hockey League and it seems likely that the move will see both men staying in a similar position on their new teams.
Unfortunately for fans in Montreal though this is just yet another winger in the organization when that is the least of their needs.
Photo Credit: Nicholas T. Loverde/CSM/Zuma