The Habs announced Saturday morning that they have signed IceCaps centre Markus Eisenschmid to a two year, entry-level contract. Financial terms of the deal were not officially disclosed but he will carry a cap hit of $642,500. Here is the breakdown of the deal, per CapFriendly:
2016-17: $605,000 NHL salary, $70,000 AHL salary, $30,000 signing bonus
2017-18: $680,000 NHL salary, $70,000 AHL salary, $30,000 signing bonus
(There are no performance bonuses in the contract.)
Eisenschmid is currently in his second year with St. John’s. After going undrafted in 2015 (though they reportedly came very close to drafting him in the seventh round), the Canadiens invited him to their rookie camp and he did well enough to earn an AHL contract. Last year, he played in 28 games with the IceCaps, recording just five points but was steadily earning more ice time before a concussion ended his season prematurely.
This year has gone much better for the 21 year old German. Through 32 games, he has six goals and four assists and has settled in nicely to a third line centre role.
The contract covers this season and next and allows the Habs to recall him from the IceCaps if they so desire. (And given how many players are currently with the big club, he’s probably in the running to be one of the next ones brought up…) He now brings Montreal up to 47 contracts out of the limit of 50, with junior-aged players Mikhail Sergachev, Noah Juulsen, and Michael McNiven all sliding.
The timing of the contract is worth noting. As Eisenschmid turns 22 in 2017, that becomes his ‘signing age’ and accordingly, he is only eligible for a two year deal. Had the Habs signed him at any point in 2016, his signing age would have been 21 and his contract would have had to have been three years (through 2018-19).