Habs sign Jake Evans to a new 3 year deal.

Evans gets a big extension.

HockeyFeed

The Montreal Canadiens, it would appear, are big believers in young Jake Evans.

On Sunday the Habs officially announced that they had signed the 25 year old centerman to a new 3 year contract extension. The deal, which will carry an average annual value and a cap hit of $1.7 million per season, will kick in at the start of the 2022 - 2023 National Hockey League season.

Evans, a former 7th round draft selection (207th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, showed himself to be an invaluable member of the Canadiens lineup last season. Evans appeared in 47 regular season games and recorded 3 goals and 10 assists over that stretch and he also played a significant role for the team in the playoffs despite being injured during the Canadiens run to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Canadiens still had Evans under contract for this current season at his current cap hit of just $750,000, and it seems fair to suggest that this deal is a product of the team's desire to avoid a potential stalemate in negotiations come next summer. Evans would have been a restricted free agent at the end of this current season and this new deal allows the Canadiens to avoid that potential negotiation entirely. 

The deal also comes at time when the NHL's salary cap has been relatively stagnant due to the ongoing pandemic, and securing an important component of your roster at a fixed price for the foreseeable future will prove beneficial to the Canadiens. It is likely to make life considerably easier for Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin moving forward when it comes to navigating the cap around his current stable of players.

The downside of course is that Evans now has a clear path to unrestricted free agency. That path will open up for the developing centerman in just 4 years when his contract expires in 2025, which will be right around the time he turns 29 years of age. Those are 4 years that Evans will want to perform at his best in order to maximize his potential earnings as a UFA, which gives the Habs a good chance of getting their money's worth out of this extension.