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The top Canadiens prospects still yet to sign with the team

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With Reway and Lehkonen signed, who are the top Canadiens prospects yet to ink a contract with the club?

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Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin recently concluded two major dossiers while in Russia for the IIHF World Hockey Championships. He signed 2013 draft picks Artturi Lehkonen and Martin Reway to three-year entry level contracts.

These two players were arguably the two top unsigned prospects in the Montreal Canadiens organization, and with the ink drying on their first NHL contracts, we set our sights out at the next crop of top prospects for the Canadiens who have yet to sign their first contract with the club.

#5 - Josiah Didier

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 Entry Draft, the Canadiens allowed his rights to expire without signing him to an NHL contract, thereby making him an unrestricted free agent. However they turned around and signed him to a one-year AHL deal instead, in order to add depth to the St. John's IceCaps defence this past season.

He started out the year with an injury, then slowly regained his form with the Brampton Beast of the East Coast Hockey League. He eventually found a permanent spot in the IceCaps lineup at the end of November, passing NHL-contracted defencemen Dalton Thrower and Mac Bennett on the depth chart.

As the Canadiens continued to call-up defenceman throughout the season, Didier became increasingly relied upon, and every time answered the call. In total Didier played 53 games this season, earning only five assists, but finishing even in plus/minus, which is something considering how bad the team's overall goal differential was.

Although not a big offensive threat, he became relied upon by Sylvain Lefebvre to be part of a tough shutdown defensive pairing with Brett Lernout, frequently making his presence known. By the end of the season, he was voted the hardest working player for the IceCaps to bookend a remarkable progression. He will now be on the lookout for his first NHL contract as an unrestricted free agent, whether it is with the Montreal Canadiens or elsewhere.

#4 - Jeremiah Addison

A strong defensive forward, Addison completed his fourth year of junior hockey with the Ottawa 67's, where he exploded for 26 goals and 27 assists in 66 games, easily eclipsing his career best.

He might be returning for an overage season with Ottawa, unless the Canadiens decide to offer him a contract. This would most likely come in the form of an AHL deal, as the Canadiens are already up against the 50 contract limit, and don't need to sign Addison until June 1, 2017.

A solid two-way forward, he can get physical, has good scoring upside, and isn't afraid of going into the dirty areas to battle for the puck. He finished up the season with the IceCaps on an Amateur Tryout, earning one assist in four games.

#3 - Simon Bourque

The captain of the Oceanic de Rimouski was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 Entry Draft, and is an offensive defenceman who is really starting to shine in the QMJHL. Known primarily as a playmaker rather than a finisher, Bourque is capable of quarterbacking the powerplay unit from the blueline, scoring seven goals in those situations.

He scored 12 goals and added 34 assists in 64 games overall this past season, and was the highest scoring defenceman on the team in both the regular season and the playoffs. Like Addison, he finished off the season with the IceCaps on an Amateur Tryout, registering one assist in three games. He is likely to return to the Oceanic for next season to complete his junior career, and only needs to be signed by the Canadiens before June 1, 2017.

#2 - Lukas Vejdemo

Selected in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Vejdemo flew somewhat under the radar this season due to all the attention that Lehkonen and Reway were getting for European prospects. Now the attention will turn to Vejdemo, who will look to start his second season in the Swedish Hockey League with Djurgårdens IF where he hopes to improve on his rookie season of five goals and 12 assists in 52 games.

At 6'2" he is a promising power forward, with more defensive acumen than offensive, and his development is benefitting tremendously from playing with older professionals in the SHL. He projects as a potential second or third line pivot, but still has lots of time to develop. The Canadiens have until June 1, 2019 to sign him, so there is no rush to expedite a contract, and the Habs should probably just let him play in the SHL for the time being.

#1 - Jake Evans

A seventh round draft pick for the Montreal Canadiens in 2014, Jake Evans is emerging as a late round steal. He is an offensive threat for the University of Notre Dame in the NCAA, and he had a breakout sophomore season in 2015-16, leading his team in assists, and in fact being one of the top players in all of college hockey in that category.

In 37 games this season he scored eight times, and added a remarkable 25 assists, putting him almost at a point per game pace. He will continue to develop his game at UND for one more season, and then should be verging on turning pro at his current progression. The Canadiens will retain his rights until August 15, 2018, but they will likely re-evaluate him during this summer's development camp.