The Habs have reached an agreement with one of their more intriguing defence prospects, announcing on Thursday that they’ve signed Mattias Norlinder to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Based on the information provided in the announcement plus some CBA interpretations to fill in the gaps, the deal should break down as follows:
21-22: $750K NHL salary, $92.5K signing bonus, $82.5K performance bonuses, $70K AHL salary
22-23: $750K NHL salary, $92.5K signing bonus, $82.5K performance bonuses, $70K AHL salary
23-24: $800K NHL salary, $92.5K signing bonus, $32.5K performance bonuses, $70K AHL salary
(While the performance bonuses weren’t specified in Montreal’s announcement, the presence of the max signing bonuses means that the AAV of the deal must be at least $925K with the difference between that and the sum of the salary and signing bonus becoming performance bonuses.)
The 21-year-old was a third-round pick of the Canadiens back in 2019 (64th overall) after going unselected in his first year of eligibility. What had him shooting up the draft board that year was a strong offensive showing in Sweden’s junior league while not looking out of place with MODO in the Allsvenskan, their second-tier pro division. He remained there for 2019-20 and did well while earning a spot on Sweden’s World Junior roster in the process. That also helped him earn the 5th spot in our annual prospect rankings.
That was enough for him to jump to the SHL, joining Frolunda this season. The offensive numbers weren’t there as he managed just five goals and five assists in 37 games but he held down a regular role (averaging 16:25 per game) and made some improvements at the defensive end. He’s never going to be a Norris Trophy contender with his play in his own zone but he definitely made some positive strides.
It’s worth noting that he’ll remain with Frolunda for next season unless he makes the Habs out of training camp (which probably isn’t going to happen; it wouldn’t be shocking if he didn’t even attend so that he could focus on his SHL campaign). Once it’s completed, he can play in Montreal or Laval which could make him an intriguing addition for playoff runs if they get that far.