Montreal Canadiens Brett Kulak congratulates goaltender Carey Price after shuttingout the New York Islanders 4-0 during NHL hockey action in Montreal on Thursday, March 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Canadiens sign D Kulak to three-year deal
The Montreal Canadiens are continuing their busy off-season, ensuring another recently-acquired player will continue to wear red and white.
“I think I can be a 1-2 guy on the top pairing, playing against top lines every night and killing penalties,” he said. “I think of myself as a totally well-rounded defenceman who can play on both sides of the puck and create offensively but also shut down and play hard and frustrate the other teams top players. Thats where I see myself. I see myself averaging low-20s minutes every night and being able to do that every year. Thats the goal I work towards.”
Both Kulak and Canadiens come away as winners with three-year deal
On Saturday, the team signed defenceman Brett Kulak to a three-year contract worth an average of $1.85 million per season through 2021-22.
“We played a good season and it was unfortunate to come up just short like we did,” he continued. “But I think over the next three years we have a team with potential to go on deep runs year after year, and then I think we also have our young guys coming in. Guys like (20-year-old) Ryan Poehling, who showed he could be an impact player soon. That just gets you more excited as a player.”
The 25-year-old Edmonton native was acquired from the Calgary Flames last October and posted career highs in goals (six), assists (11), points (17), and plus-minus (+12) in his first season with the Montreal Canadiens.
Theyre a team short on reliable, minute-munching, puck-moving, left-shot defencemen, so locking one up for third-pairing money — one who played a top-four role for a big chunk of his 57 games since coming over in the October trade that sent minor leaguers Rinat Valiev and Matt Taormina to the Calgary Flames — is a tidy piece of business from Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.
Over the past six weeks, the Montreal Canadiens have also re-signed defenceman Christian Folin and forwards Nate Thompson and Jordan Weal, all three of whom were acquired mid-season.
After 71 games with the Flames in 2017-18, Kulak started this season in Laval, where he accumulated 11 points in 19 games and played upwards of 25 minutes per game and in all situations. Once promoted to the Canadiens, he went on to collect six goals and 17 points, finished plus-12, notched a 56.3 per-cent corsi for and averaged 17:51 per game.
The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenceman Brett Kulak to a three-year contract extension with a $1.85 million AAV.
Kulak, 25, appeared in 57 games for the Habs this season, recording six goals and 17 points.
The contract will have a cap hit of $1.85 million per year, which is outstanding value for the defenceman who cemented a role in the teams top four last season. He was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
He was acquired from the Calgary Flames in October in exchange for defencemen Matt Taormina and Rinat Valiev.
Kulak is the 11th defenceman under contract for the 2019-20 season for the Canadiens and the third one to sign a contract since the season ended, joining Christian Folin and Otto Leskinen.