The Montreal Canadiens will soon have to pay up for budding star forward Cole Caufield, with the 22-year-old destined to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
But while Caufield is letting his play do the talking, he admitted that thoughts about his future still linger in the back of his mind.
“I mean, you try not to (listen), but you really can’t get away from it,” Caufield told reporters on Friday. “It’s everywhere, you hear it a lot, but for me, it’s just about trying to stay away from it. It’s going to happen when it happens.”
The University of Wisconsin product is quickly making a name for himself as the one the NHL's up and coming snipers, already tallying a career-high 26 goals in 46 games this season. And while the Canadiens are currently limping their way through a rebuild, the diminutive star is happy with where he is in his career.
“I love being here, I love this team and this group of guys,” the 22-year-old added. “So I just take it one step at a time. But for sure it’s in the back of my mind.”
There has been much speculation recently over the dollar amount that Caufield and the Canadiens will settle on, with some expecting him to land within range of fellow United States National Team Development Program alum Matt Boldy's new seven-year, $49-million ($7-million AAV) contract with the Minnesota Wild.
Despite the legwork still to be done in negotiations, Caufield is not preoccupied with the financial side of things, and is confident the two sides will come to an agreement in due time.
“I don’t really see it like that, it’s about the best fit for me,” he said. “My agent (Pat Brisson) and the guys behind the scenes take care of those things, but I’m not too worried.”
Caufield was taken with the 15th-overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, and has registered 53 goals and 84 points in 123 career NHL games.
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