The Montreal Canadiens took care of some important business before the first month of free agency came to an end, signing their last restricted free agent to a brand new contract. Forward Alex Galchenyuk earned himself a 2-year deal, reportedly worth $5.6 million over the duration, a $2.8 million cap hit for each season.
The 21-year old will now enter his fourth NHL season, after making the jump to the big leagues in his draft year, which means he finished off his entry-level deal last year.
The young pivot has seen some steady gains throughout his young career, reaching a new career-high in goals and points with 20 markers and 46 points in 80 games last season.
Those sort of numbers gave him a solid ranking of 135th overall in scoring, 95th among all forwards, up from his 13-goal and 31-point season in 2014.
Galchenyuk gives the Canadiens some depth in the forward ranks, especially down the middle, where he possesses great speed and some pretty nifty touch around the net. He's the sort of player, who will help keep the Canadiens relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
It's hard not to look at Galchenyuk's numbers and think that he will just keep on going. 27 points in the shortened 2013 season, 31 points in 2014, 46 in 2015, the gains are certainly there and if he can keep climbing, he'll be a game-changers for the Habs.
My early projections do see him in the 50's and I wouldn't be surprised if he surpassed that in the 2016 season.