The Laval Rocket have signed forward Xavier Simoneau to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced on Monday.
The 21-year-old just finished his final QMJHL season with the Charlottetown Islanders where he had 24 goals and 62 assists (86 points) in 48 games. He had four goals and 17 assists in 14 playoff games.
Because the Canadiens have until June 2023 to sign him to an entry-level contract, and he is no longer eligible for the Canadian Hockey League, he is able to sign an AHL deal while the Canadiens still hold his NHL rights.
If the path sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same one that Rafaël Harvey-Pinard followed. Harvey-Pinard was drafted, then signed to an AHL contract after his QMJHL career. After a successful first season with the Laval Rocket, the team signed him to an NHL contract.
Simoneau is listed as 5’7” and 171 pounds which is one of the reasons he was undrafted twice in the NHL. In 252 career QMJHL games, he had 97 goals and 214 assists for 314 points. He added 10 goals and 28 assists in 43 playoff games.