The Montreal Canadiens have signed center Jake Evans to a three-year, $5.1MM extension, the team announced today. The contract will pay him $1.7MM per season from 2022-23 to 2024-25. TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that the deal carries a flat $1.7MM in salary every season.
Evans signs his extension after seeing his role increase considerably during the playoffs. Evans jumped into a top-six role during a short seven-game stint, forming a formidable shutdown line with Philip Danault and Brendan Gallagher. A concussion suffered on a hit from Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele knocked him out for the majority of June, but Evans returned for three games in their Stanley Cup Final series against Tampa Bay. He finished with a goal and an assist in seven games.
A seventh-round pick in 2014, Evans has gotten into 60 career NHL games, all over the past two seasons. He’s got five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in that timeframe, averaging 11:31 per night.
Those numbers will surely jump this season, as Evans is expected to take on a regular top-nine role with the club. Likely serving as the team’s third-line center behind Nick Suzuki and Christian Dvorak, he’ll be entrusted with more ice time and opportunity after some recent strong showings. He’ll attempt to bridge the gap in the bottom-six left by the departure of Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
Moving forward, Evans’ ceiling likely isn’t too high considering he’s now 25 years old. However, he does have the potential to be an important bottom-six piece for the team for years to come, and this extension shows that Montreal feels the same way.