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Time is running out for two Canadien hopefuls in net

The Canadiens’ bank of prospects is already very well filled, but there’s a shortage of up-and-coming goalies. Two goaltenders in the prospect pool are still without NHL entry-level contracts and will become free agents if they don’t sign by June 1: Frederik Dichow and Joe Vrbetic.

Of the two goalkeepers, Dichow is probably the one with the most potential. He played for Denmark at the last World Championship and was successful. His team won three of their five matches. He also maintained a goals-against average of 2.30 and an efficiency percentage of .911.

Drafted in the fifth round by the Canadiens in 2019, Dichow plays with HC Frolunda in the SHL (Sweden’s premier league). He had a good season without anything spectacular.

It has to be said, however, that the Canadiens’ goaltending bank is not very well-stocked. We can forget about Carey Price right away. Samuel Montembeault and Jake Allen share the net in Montreal, but after that, it gets very empty.

Cayden Primeau is still with the Laval Rocket, but he’s not developing at the rate many had hoped. There’s only one other goalie under contract in the organization, and that’s Jakub Dobes.

Yes, Dobes has had a lot of success with Ohio State in the NCAA, but he can’t be the CH’s only hope at the goalie position. If it doesn’t work out with him, the Habs will be solidly in trouble.

That’s why we need Kent Hughes to sign one of the two goalies. Either Dichow or Vrbetic.

Another problem is that signing one of these goalies would take an available contract off the cap (50 max). This could prevent the signing of future prospects who establish themselves more quickly than expected.

Even if the Tricolore doesn’t sign Dichow, Vrbetic could also be a good choice. In fact, Vrbetic’s main role in the AHL is as a replacement in case of injury. He did a decent job with the Trois-Rivières Lions in 2022-23. He certainly won’t be the team’s goalie of the future, but he can be a cushion in case of injury.

Emmett Croteau is another Canadiens prospect who doesn’t have to sign a contract just yet. He had a good run with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL and will join the ranks of the University of Nebraska at Omaha for his next season.

The Habs should still sign Dichow or Vrbetic or draft a good goalie in the next auction to avoid a goalie shortage.

In brief

– A solid player.

– Carter Verhaeghe has been impressive since the start of the playoffs.

– A member of the Raptors joins the Bucks.

– He certainly left his mark.

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