The Montreal Canadiens continue to work towards locking up one of their key young players.
Sportsnet's Eric Engels reports that the Canadiens and centre Kirby Dach continue to have discussions on a new contract with one option being a four-year deal at around $3.5 million per season.
Montreal made two trades at the 2022 NHL Draft, first dealing Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to acquire New York's 13th overall selection. Then, they packaged the 13th overall pick with the 66th overall pick to acquire Dach from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dach is coming off his three-year, entry-level deal and is a restricted free agent.
The 21-year-old was drafted third overall by Chicago in the 2019 NHL Draft. Last season, Dach had nine goals and 17 assists in 70 games and 59 points in 152 career games.
Injuries have held him back from reaching his full potential with the club -- a broken wrist suffered during an exhibition game ahead of the 2021 world juniors while captaining Team Canada saw him unable to build on his solid rookie season, suiting up for just 18 games in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 NHL campaign.
After getting traded to the Canadiens, Dach understood the decision made by the Blackhawks to focus on a rebuild but was excited about the new opportunity in Montreal.
“We knew we were going to rebuild there and stuff like that. But they were very open and honest with us about that stuff. And obviously they felt like they needed to go a different direction than (DeBrincat) and I," Dach told the Canadian Press.
"It's a business. There's nothing else to it. You’ve just got to move on and I've got a great opportunity in front of me in Montreal. I’m beyond excited to get things rolling and start the next chapter in my career.”