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Montreal Canadiens leave Jarret Tyszka and Scott Walford unsigned, allowing them to re-enter the draft

Two of the four WHL defencemen selected by Montreal in 2017 will not earn entry-level contracts.

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With a deadline of 5:00 PM on June 1 to sign Junior selections from the 2017 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens have decided not to extend entry-level contracts to Jarret Tyszka and Scott Walford.

Walford was the second-highest selection (68th overall) on the list of those left unsigned, behind Pittsburgh Penguins second-round pick Zachary Lauzon (51st). He saw a small increase in his production after his draft season, and jumped from 32 to 47 points in 2018-19, but his projection was always as a defensive option at the professional level.

Tyszka has a more dynamic game, showing off his puck-carrying skills at development camp a year ago, but a critical season was derailed by injuries, limiting him to just 41 games in 2018-19. Posting just 30 points on the year, the Canadiens decided to pass on locking him into one of their 50 available NHL contract spots.

Despite the two departures, the 2017 draft can still be viewed as a successful one. The other two defencemen selected — Cale Fleury and Josh Brook — both have their ELCs in hand and some experience in the AHL from last year. They are two of the more promising prospects in the system, with strong chances of getting some NHL looks in the near future. The draft also yielded Joni Ikonen, potential NHL starting goaltender Cayden Primeau, and a player who will challenge for a spot in the Habs’ centre depth next season, Ryan Poehling.