With Montreal Canadiens Kirby Dach still unsigned, Montreal Hockey Now used comparable contracts to predict what Dach’s next contract could look like.
The 21-year-old has yet to sign his new contract with the Montreal Canadiens, but, with the unfortunate news concerning Carey Price‘s health, it’s now just a matter of time before he signs with the club. There has been much debate as to what his next contract could look like with the Canadiens. With the Canadiens looking to develop the youngster and viewing him as a project for head coach Martin St. Louis to work with this year, it would be surprising to see the Canadiens go for a long-term deal. It seems far more likely that the Canadiens will follow the trend of signing young and unproven players to bridge contracts of two or three years in length.
In order to understand the range that fans could expect such a contract to be, here are a few examples to look at:
Kaapo Kakko 2 years – $2.1M AAV
Kaapo Kakko, the player drafted right before Dach in the 2019 NHL Draft, seems to also be going through some growing pains with the New York Rangers. Although Kakko has shown flashes of brilliance at times, he’s failed to put it all together for the Rangers, which is why they chose to offer him a bridge contract to allow him more time to develop before making a decision on him. Kakko ultimately came to terms on a two-year deal with the Rangers worth $2.1M annually and will now be hoping to take the next step with the Rangers.
Robert Thomas 2 years – $2.8M AAV
Prior to breaking out with the St. Louis Blues this past season, Robert Thomas was an unsigned restricted free agent coming off a disappointing season. After putting up only 12 points in 33 games with the Blues during the 2020-2021 season, the Blues came to terms with Thomas on a two-year bridge deal worth $2.8M annually. The gamble ended up working out for the Blues, as Thomas exploded offensively the following season and the Blues quickly locked him up to an eight-year deal the very next summer.
Isac Lundestrom 2 years – $1.8M AAV
Lundestrom just completed his second full season in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks and looked to have taken a necessary step in his development since being drafted 23rd overall in 2018. The 22-year-old put up a respectable 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points in 80 games last season and will look to improve on that next season. Although the improvement was notable last season, Lundestrom still has a lot to prove before earning a long-term deal in the NHL and was thus offered a two-year bridge contract worth $1.8M annually. This is likely the lower end of what a bridge deal could look like, since Dach was a top draft pick, but it gives you an idea of the range.
From the comparables around the league since the start of the flat salary cap, Kirby Dach‘s next deal should likely come in around $1.8M to $2.3M on a two-year deal with the Canadiens as he looks to prove he can take the next step. Because he plays a position of greater importance at centre, Dach could make a smidge more than Kakko, who had lower offensive production, but it shouldn’t differ too far. Signing Dach to that number will leave the Montreal Canadiens with some more wiggle room to turn around and make some extra moves down the line.