HabsWorld.net -- 

Monday was the first day that players entering the final year of their contracts became extension-eligible.  The Habs wasted little time getting a new deal done with Juraj Slafkovsky, inking the winger to an eight-year contract extension that runs through the 2032-33 season.  The breakdown of the deal is not yet known but it carries a cap hit of $7.6 million.

Montreal selected the 20-year-old with the first-overall pick back in 2022.  His rookie season was a rough one as he notched just 10 points in 39 games and missed the rest of the year due to injury.

Last season didn’t get off to a great start either.  He had just one goal and one assist in the first 15 games, leading many to openly wonder if a stint in Laval would be better for him.  Instead, he was moved onto the top line soon after.

That decision proved to be a wise one as Slafkovsky thrived with the extra ice time and better linemates.  He wound up finishing the year with 20 goals and 30 assists in 82 games, becoming the first player in franchise history to reach 40 points in a single season before turning 20.

It’s the third year in four years that a core Montreal forward has signed a max-term contract, joining Nick Suzuki ($7.875M) and Cole Caufield ($7.85M); the three are all now signed through at least the 2029-30 campaign, keeping their top line around for a long time to come.  Notably, the cap hit also comes in below those two, keeping the internal salary ceiling intact for the time being.

As is often the case with these types of agreements, this is a contract that is likely to be an above-market deal early on.  However, the hope is that over time, if he’s able to progress as expected, the deal will become a team-friendly one which will be more beneficial as it will line up with the time when the Habs have ideally exited the rebuild and will be looking to add win-now pieces.