Brett Kulak was a pleasant surprise on Montreal’s back end this past season and he has been rewarded for his efforts. The team announced that they have signed the defenseman to a three-year contract with an AAV of $1.85MM. CapFriendly reports (Twitter link) that the deal breaks down as follows:
The season didn’t get off to a great start for the 25-year-old. He cleared waivers at the end of training camp with Calgary, the second time that had happened for him after went unclaimed in advance of his salary arbitration hearing back in July. Shortly after passing through, the Flames flipped him to the Canadiens for a pair of minor league defenders in Rinat Valiev and Matt Taormina.
Montreal opted to keep Kulak in the minors to start the season where he collected 11 points in 19 games before being recalled for good in November. He started out on the third pairing but by the end of the season, he was frequently featured in their top four. Overall, he played in 57 games with the team, recording 17 points (6-11-17) while averaging nearly 18 minutes a night of playing time.
The Canadiens don’t feature a lot of depth on the left side of their back end with only Kulak and Victor Mete seemingly being pencilled in for roster spots next season. If they don’t address that weakness over the summer, it’s quite possible that Kulak will be in a top-four role for 2019-20 which would make this contract somewhat of a bargain if he can handle the extra minutes over an entire season.