The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Jake Evans. The deal is for two years and will carry an average annual value of $750,000 if Evans is in the NHL. Montreal has been busy in recent weeks trading for Jake Allen and Joel Edmundson so this is a continuation of that aggressive offseason policy. The team announced the move early Wednesday morning.
Canadiens agree to terms on a two-year contract extension with forward Jake Evans.#GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) September 23, 2020
Montreal Canadiens Sign Jake Evans
Evans spent most of the 2019-20 season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Laval. He scored 14 goals and 38 points in 51 games. He also played in 13 NHL contests with two goals, three points and 16 hits. The 6’1″, 185-pound skater led Laval in scoring and is a solid depth prospect.
The Canadiens originally selected Evans in the seventh round of the 2014 draft after a good season with St. Michaels in the OHL. He spent the next four years at Notre Dame University and posted 41 goals and 138 points in 158 games. Nothing about Evans’ game stands out but he has the profile of a decent grinder who can help chip in points on a bottom-six unit. Evans also seems like he’ll be a fine penalty killing option. He is already 24-years-old so there isn’t tons of upside left, but Montreal could certainly use a versatile player of his calibre.
What This Means for the Future
Evans has a very real chance to make the NHL roster for 2020-21. He could take over the fourth line’s centre position while helping both kill penalties and compete for points. He’ll never blow people away but he produced at a good level in college and the AHL so there is some skill there if Montreal likes his energy. He is already a success as a seventh-round pick with NHL games under his belt, but he might get a chance to do more.
Montreal still has $10.2 million in projected cap space after this signing. However, the team still has several pending free agents that will need new contracts. The Canadiens have yet to agree to terms with productive scorer Max Domi and promising Victor Mete. The team’s offseason is far from complete at this point.