Last week, we provided an update on Antoine Roussel, one of three young players that managed to parlay an invitation from the Canucks’ to the Young Stars tournament in Penticton into a tryout with their AHL affiliate in Chicago. Roussel had done what he set out to do, earning a contract with the Wolves.
At the time, there was no news on the other two invitees, Nathan Longpre and Karel St. Laurent, but with the Wolves’ first game of the regular season set for this Saturday, a decision on both players was expected by the middle of this week. That decision has been made. Despite a strong showing, Karel St. Laurent was unable to crack the Wolves’ goaltending depth chart, and has been released. Meanwhile, Nathan Longpre’s long shot continues, as the Wolves have signed the 23-year-old centre to a professional tryout (PTO) of their own.
Under the AHL-PHPA collective bargaining agreement, tryouts can last up to a maximum of 25 games, meaning Longpre will have a little over a quarter of a season, at most, to prove he deserves to go from a PTO to a SPC (standard player contract).
Edit: apparently, you can sign up to two in a row, so Longpre could actually play 50 games without an SPC.
He’ll be in tough, as the Wolves have a strong forwards corps that includes Jordan Schroeder, Anton Rodin, Mark Mancari, and Darren Archibald. However, the good news for Longpre is that the Canucks have opted to keep Andrew Ebbett and Cody Hodgson in the fold, meaning the Wolves’ second line (which is projected to feature Rodin and undersized winger Michael Davies) has a hole at centre. Provided both centres stay with the Canucks, Longpre will get a nice, long look.
As for St. Laurent, he was always a long shot to crack the roster, especially since the Wolves were already set in net, with Eddie Lack and Matt Climie as the designated tandem and Wolves’ offseason signee Charlie Effinger as a third option. But don’t feel too bad for Karel; he’s landed on his feet. According to Jim Jamieson, St. Laurent will be returning to his home province of Quebec to mind the pipes for and study at The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.Tags: Chicago Wolves, Invitees, longpre, st. laurent