Jun 21, 2019; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Cole Caufield after being selected as the number fifteen overall pick to the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Montreal Canadiens haven’t had much to be happy about recently but were holding out hope that perhaps top prospect Cole Caufield would soon sign his entry-level contract. Not so fast, according to Todd D. Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal, who reports that Caufield has told Badgers head coach Tony Granato that he is planning on returning for his sophomore season.

The 19-year-old forward has watched teammates K’Andre Miller and Alex Turcotte sign their entry-level deals and turn pro in recent days, but he will instead return for another chance at developing his game at the collegiate level.

Caufield, the 15th overall pick in 2019, is an incredibly gifted scorer who can put the puck in from anywhere in the offensive zone. His ability to find open space when his teammates have the puck or create it for himself with his strong acceleration and balance is almost unmatched among his age group, as seen by the record-breaking numbers he put up for the U.S. National Team Development Program.

At Wisconsin, even as a freshman he found quite a bit of success. He led the Badgers with 19 goals and 36 points in 36 games, both numbers expected to climb even further next season. Even though he likely won’t contribute to the Canadiens in 2020 (unless something changes his mind through the summer), there is still plenty to be excited about down the road.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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