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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
The Habs appear to have shored up their prospect depth, reportedly inking a trio of QMJHL forwards to entry-level contracts - centres Ben Duffy and Stephan MacAulay plus left winger Gabriel Desjardins. Although the team has not officially announced the signings, all three players have been added to Montreal's extended roster on NHL.com.
Duffy, a 5'10, 175 lb centre, played five full seasons in the Quebec league, all with the PEI Rocket. His 2012-13 was terrific, as he led the league in scoring with 110 points, five ahead of Jonathan Drouin, a likely top three selection in next Sunday's NHL draft. In total, he played 334 junior games, collecting 139 goals and 202 assists. Perhaps more impressive than his point-per-game career average is the fact that the most minor penalties he took in a single season was two; he had 18 career PIMS in the league. Duffy had recently committed to the University of New Brunswick.
MacAulay, a former 6th rounder of St. Louis in 2010, is a name that may be familiar to some as he does have a prior connection to the Canadiens. The 6'2, 182 lb pivot who can also play left wing attended training camp with the Hamilton Bulldogs and was the only player to score for them in the exhibition season. He was returned to Saint John to start the season before being dealt to Halifax, where he won his second straight Memorial Cup. On the year, he played in 59 games, collecting 31 goals and 31 assists. In the postseason, he collected 20 points while adding five more in the Memorial Cup, good for ninth in the tournament. 2012-13 was the first time his production eclipsed a point per game.
Desjardins had a breakout campaign in his final QMJHL season, picking up 74 points as captain with Rouyn-Noranda (his previous career high was 45) while also providing over a point per game in the playoffs (15 points in 14 contests). The 6'0, 203lb left winger led the Huskies with a +29 rating, ranking him in the top 20 in the league in that category.