Skip to content
Jesse Ylönen’s contract: a case that is surprisingly slow to conclude

At the start of the Montreal Canadiens’ off-season, the team’s general manager, Kent Hughes, had a number of issues to deal with.

The most important and worrisome was clearly the next contract for Cole Caufield, whose NHL entry-level contract had expired.

It didn’t take too long for the matter to be resolved (after the start of the off-season), and allowed CH fans to start the summer with some very good news.

What’s more, Caufield’s eight-year, $7.85-million-a-year contract is excellent news.

Hats off to Kent Hughes.

Other issues to be resolved at the start of the summer included Rafaël Harvey-Pinard’s contract, as well as player congestion in both attack and defence.

In addition to the offensive congestion, these issues have now been resolved.

Harvey-Pinard was signed to a two-year contract (worth $1.1 million annually) and veteran Joel Edmundson was traded to the Washington Capitals in return for two draft picks (one in the third round and one in the seventh).

In short, Hughes has settled virtually all these issues, but there are still a few left, including one rather surprising one.

I’m talking about Jesse Ylönen’s contract.

At the start of the summer, the Finn’s next contract was clearly not a priority, while at the same time it looked like it would be an uncomplicated and easy matter to settle, given that there aren’t a thousand and one options – on the contrary.

Yet, to this day, Ylönen is the last restricted free agent still without a contract with the Habs.

This is a rather odd situation, considering that this type of player signs a very simple one- or two-year contract with an annual value of under $1 million fairly quickly in the summer.

So what’s dragging this out?

Well, the main reason is that, for the first time in his career, Ylönen will be eligible for the ballot next season.

This means that if the CH wants to send the Finnish forward back to the AHL with the Laval Rocket, every NHL team will have the chance to claim him.

Of course, even if Ylönen isn’t the latest offspring of Connor McDavid, the CH wouldn’t want to lose a 23-year-old who already has some NHL experience for nothing.

So, the Habs will want and need to keep Ylönen up top.

And if Ylönen’s camp feels the same way, well, they have no interest in signing a contract worth less than his qualifying offer of $874,125 with a bonus American League salary.

This would give Ylönen nothing, since he knows that the CH will want to keep him in Montreal.

So, the option of simply signing the qualifying offer made the most sense, but that possibility expired on July 15.

There’s nothing to stop the CH and Ylönen agreeing on a contract of similar value to his qualifying offer, but if that hasn’t been done, there’s surely a reason.

So, potentially Ylönen is looking for a two-year deal with an annual value close to that of Rafaël Harvey-Pinard.

Obviously, Ylönen shouldn’t pocket more than RHP.

In the NHL last season, Ylönen had 16 points (six goals and ten assists) in 37 games, while Harvey-Pinard had 20 points (14 goals and six assists) in 34 games.

Not a huge difference in points, but everyone will agree that RHP has shown more and is bringing more to the CH right now.

In short, it’s surprising to see the file dragging on, but in the end, Ylönen should soon sign a contract with a fairly ordinary component.

This contract could push the Tricolore to send RHP to Laval, since he won’t be eligible for the draft next season.

To find out more, I’ll relay the article here, where the possibility of Ylönen going to Europe is discussed.

In the Rafale

– This will clearly be a case to follow.

– The start is set in Hungary.

– Catastrophe for Alpine.

– Big win for the Orioles.

– Congratulations to Jamaica!

More Content