The Habs inked one of their more promising offensive prospects on Wednesday as they announced the signing of Slovak winger Martin Reway to a three year, entry level contract. The deal carries a cap hit of $706,667 plus performance bonuses that could push it to $853,333.
Reway was Montreal’s 4th round pick (116th overall) in the 2013 draft and his signing means that all of the Habs’ picks in that draft have signed with the Canadiens. There’s no denying the offensive upside he brings to the table but there have been some off-ice concerns as well.
One of those came into play this past season. Unhappy with his playing time with Sparta Praha in the Czech League, he requested (or demanded, depending on who’s telling the story) to be moved. After failing to find a taker in the Czech Republic, Reway eventually transferred to Fribourg of the Swiss NLA. Unfortunately for him, concussion problems cost him the final couple of months of the regular season plus the playoffs.
Statistically speaking, Reway had a good year when he was in the lineup. He had 15 points (5-10-15) in 14 games with Sparta and 21 points (8-13-21) in 19 games with Fribourg; it was the second straight year that he was better than a point per game in the Czech Extraliga. He also suited up for Slovakia at the World Championships although he struggled en route to collecting just a single assist in seven games while averaging over 17 minutes per game of ice time.
Unlike a lot of international prospects, Reway already is somewhat accustomed to playing on the smaller North American rinks having spent two seasons with Gatineau of the QMJHL. Of course, the circumstances surrounding his departure are another of the off-ice issues that have surrounded him in recent years.
It’s unknown at this time if the deal contains a European Assignment clause comparable to what Artturi Lehkonen received as part of his entry-level pact earlier in the month. Given Reway’s reported hesitance to play in the AHL based on comments over the past couple of years, it wouldn’t be surprising if one is in there, at least for the first year.