As expected, Aaron Palushaj has signed a one-year two way contract with the Canadiens. Although there seems little doubt, based on his skating ability alone, he will eventually play in the NHL, much of his potential remains unrealized. That process was derailed last season by his infrequent recalls from Hamilton which prevented him from establishing himself first at the AHL level. With the Canadiens he scored one goal in 38 games. In Hamilton, on a points-per-game basis, Palushaj was the Bulldogs top scorer with 15 goals and 35 points in 35 games.
Contract terms weren’t announced but the NHL portion of his entry level contract called for 787,500 dollars. When in the AHL, Palushaj was paid 65-thousand.
Including the Scott Gomez contract, the Canadiens have just over 7.5 million dollars in remaining cap room. P.K. Subban’s new contract is expected to take up a good portion of that. Along with Subban, Raphael Diaz and Blake Geoffrion have yet to be signed. All three are restricted free agents.
PRESS RELEASE FROM CANADIENS COMMUNICATIONS
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday the signing of forwardAaron Palushaj to a one-year, two-way contract (2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Palushaj, 22, completed his third season in professional hockey in 2011-12, his second in the Canadiens organization. In 38 games, the right winger tallied five points (1 goal, 4 assists). He recorded 37 shots on goal, and served 8 penalty minutes, while averaging 7:33 seconds of ice time per game. Palushaj scored his first NHL goal on March 17 against the New York Islanders.
Palushaj finished third on the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring list in 2011-12 with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games. He scored seven powerplay goals, collected 115 shots on goal and served 35 penalty minutes.
The Livonia, Michigan native Palushaj was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in return for forward Matt D’Agostini on March 3, 2010.