The Habs have signed another one of their prospects as they announced that they’ve inked Cam Hillis to a three-year, entry-level contract. The details of the deal, per CapFriendly, are as follows:
2020-21: $700,000 NHL salary, $92,500 signing bonus, $132,500 performance bonuses, $70,000 AHL salary, $10,500 junior salary
2021-22: $750,000 NHL salary, $92,500 signing bonus, $82,500 performance bonuses, $70,000 AHL salary
2022-23: $800,000 NHL salary, $80,000 signing bonus, no performance bonuses, $70,000 AHL salary
The 19-year-old was a third-round pick of the Habs (66th overall) back in 2018. His post-draft year was largely a write-off as a trio of injuries (including two collarbone issues) limited him to just 33 regular season games and a lower role in the lineup when healthy. That left him with a lot to prove heading into this season.
Hillis did just that. With several players graduating to the pros (including Nick Suzuki) and a clean bill of health, he was able to latch on to the number one centre role in Guelph and had a nice bounce back year with 24 goals and 59 assists in 62 games. His 83 points put him in a tie for 12th overall in OHL scoring.
While he’s still eligible to go back to junior for his overage year, it’s likely that Hillis will instead turn pro and suit up with Laval. He’ll likely be tasked with a limited role to start, especially if Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Ryan Poehling are the top two centres with the Rocket but a more gradual development curve wouldn’t be a bad thing.
There are still three more prospects from the 2018 draft that need to be signed by June 1st if the Habs want to retain their rights – Cole Fonstad, Samuel Houde, and Allan McShane. Shortly after the trade deadline, GM Marc Bergevin indicated that he was likely going to sign one of his group of junior prospects. With Hillis getting signed now, it appears likely that the other three will not be signed.