The Canadiens continue to load up their minor league affiliates with talent and depth. Defenceman Joel Chouinard became the fourth player in the the last three weeks to sign two-way AHL/ECHL contracts. They also signed defenceman Matt Grassi to an AHL contract and Swedish left wing Erik Nystrom to a 25 game AHL tryout contract.
By limiting players to minor league contracts the Canadiens avoid taking precious spots on the NHL imposed 50 player NHL reserve list which currently sits at 48. Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre will be bringing at least 28 players into his training camp in late September.
The 23 year old Chouinard divided last season between the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and the Central Hockey League’s Denver Cutthroats. He is a graduate of the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL and a sixth round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2008.
From the Bulldogs Communications Department
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signing of free agent defenceman Joel Chouinard to a one-year, two-way American Hockey League / ECHL contract for the 2013-2014 season. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Chouinard, 23, split the 2012-2013 season between the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and the Central Hockey League’s Denver Cutthroats. In 42 games with the Cutthroats, he finished second on the team in scoring among defencemen with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) and accumulated 28 penalty minutes. In 10 games with the Monsters, he recorded no points and 11 penalty minutes.
In 98 career regular season AHL games with Lake Erie, the Longueuil, Quebec native has registered 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) and 68 penalty minutes. Before turning pro, the 6’1”, 190-pound defenceman played for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Victoriaville Tigres (2006-2010). In 221 career regular season QMJHL games, Chouinard recorded 144 points (45 goals, 99 assists) and 236 penalty minutes. He was named a QMJHL First-Team All-Star in 2009-2010.
Chouinard was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the sixth round, 167th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.