Canadiens: Projecting Alex Galchenyuk’s Next Contract


Most of the talk this off-season has surrounded the NHL draft and free agency but the Canadiens should determine Galchenyuk’s value now.

Alex Galchenyuk had a great 2016 season. He did have trouble scoring early but once the season ended, he had set career high’s across the board. At 22 year’s of age, Galchenyuk’s future has never been brighter.

And that is why the Canadiens should get him inked to an extension now. Marc Bergevin signed Galchenyuk to a two year, $5.6 million bridge deal last July. At the time, Galchenyuk was coming off his entry level deal. He had just scored 20 goals and 46 points in the prior season. However, he had not seen much time as a center, spending most of his first three years on the wing.

More from A Winning Habit

Fast forward a year and Galchenyuk is coming off an even better season where he finally saw significant action as a center. He has 1 year remaining on his bridge deal and if he goes unsigned into next summer, he will be eligible for arbitration rights and could get an offer sheet from an opposing team.

Galchenyuk emerged as one of the Canadiens most talented players last year. He topped 30 goals and was the team’s top center down the stretch. He’s well on his way to securing himself as a star in this league.

But he is not quite there yet and now is the time for the Canadiens to strike and get an extension done. So what is Galchenyuk worth and what could his next contract look like?

Finding Comparable Contracts

Good centers in this league get paid plain and simple. The closer you are to free agency, the higher the dollar figure. As of right now, Galchenyuk is 3 years from UFA status and would enter the open market as a 25 year old.

I believe the most relevant contract to Galchenyuk’s situation is Matt Duchene‘s 5 year, $30 million dollar deal with Colorado. Duchene was in an identical situation to Galchenyuk. He was 22 and just completed his 4th NHL season for Colorado. He was also in the middle of a bridge contract and was 3 years from free agency.

Two players in two identical situations. So how do their stats compare through 4 NHL seasons?

Matt Duchene: 266 GP, 82 G, 111 A, 193 Pts, 0.73 PPG

Alex Galchenyuk : 275 GP, 72 G, 88 A, 160 Pts, 0.58 PPG

Both players have similar goal totals while Duchene has a significant edge in assists which helps boost his points per game. In terms of their 4th NHL season, Duchene was on pace for a 70+ point season if not for the lockout while Galchenyuk recorded 56 points last year.

Next: Habs and Desharnais Should Part Ways This Off-Season

Final Verdict – 5 years, $25 million

Galchenyuk has not been quite as good as Duchene at the same point in their respective careers. I think this works in the Canadiens favor as it could cap Galchneyuk’s earning potential.

Despite that, Galchenyuk does have a case to be compensated accordingly. He did have a long stretch where he was scoring at an elite level last year. However, it was a small sample near the end of the season but it still showed that the potential is there.

I believe Galchenyuk’s next deal should be negotiated as soon as possible. A $25 million dollar deal over 5 years would put Galchenyuk right in line with most other young centers in the NHL.Waiting a year or two could ultimately cost the Canadiens north of $6.5 million per season.

Getting a deal done now would also provide the Canadiens with some future cap flexibility to help fill out the roster. With Carey Price and Max Pacioretty due up for new deals in the next year or two, having that flexibility will allow the Canadiens to not only extend them but extend the team’s window to contend.