Montreal Canadiens: Jake Evans Signs Two-Year Extension

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 03: Jake Evans #71 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 03: Jake Evans #71 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens centre Jake Evans has signed a contract extension with the Habs.

The Montreal Canadiens announced this morning that Jake Evans has signed a contract extension to stay with the team for the foreseeable future. The centre inked a two-year contract that will keep him in Habs colours until the 2022 offseason when he will be a restricted free agent once again.

The 24 year old has taken his time getting to the NHL level, but he showed this season he could contribute at the bottom end of the lineup.

Evans suited up for 13 games this season, scoring two goals and three points while mostly playing as the fourth line centre. He took on the role when Nate Thompson was traded away at the trade deadline, and Evans filled the veteran’s shoes admirably.

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He played six more games with the team in the postseason, adding one assist. Evans was initially left in the press box for the first few games as Max Domi took on the fourth line centre role. I can’t see Domi playing that role in the future, so the job is Evans’ to lose at this point.

He has certainly earned it.

The Toronto, Ontario native was a 7th round pick of the Canadiens back in 2014. There were only three more players taken after him in that draft. He quickly showed he was well worth the very late selection.

Evans headed to Notre Dame to play college hockey the following season. He scored seven goals and 17 points as a freshman and nearly doubled that production with 33 points the following season. He continued that upward trajectory with seasons of 40 and 42 points to round out his college career.

Evans then began building his resume with the Laval Rocket. In 2018-19 he finished second on the team in scoring with 45 points in 67 games. Not bad for a rookie pro on a low scoring team. This season, he scored 38 points in 51 games with the Rocket before being called up to the Canadiens.

His two-year contract comes with a cap hit of $750,000. The Habs have plenty of cap space at the moment, but that can evaporate quickly. The low cost to keep Evans in town will make this a very valuable contract for the next two seasons.

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If Evans continues to improve as he did at Notre Dame and with Laval, expect him to become a regular quickly, and find some offence down the road as well.