The Montreal Canadiens have rewarded minor-league forward Alex Belzile with a one-year contract extension, agreeing to terms on a two-way deal for the 2020-21 season. Belzile will earn $700K at the NHL level and $225K in the minor leagues, with a $250K guarantee.
That’s an impressive accomplishment for a player who went undrafted and toiled in the ECHL for years before developing into an AHL regular.
Belzile, 28, has still never seen a game in the NHL but you can bet that he’s working toward that goal. The Canadiens clearly think he can contribute to the organization, as GM Marc Bergevin explained:
"Since joining our organization, Alex has continued to impress us with his determination and work ethic. He’s a role model for the younger players we have developing in Laval. His on-ice skillset combined with his leadership qualities will help him battle for a roster spot at training camp next season."
After earning his first NHL contract just over a year ago, Belzile has dealt with injuries and was limited to just 20 games for the Laval Rocket this season. He did record 14 points but will hope to be fully healthy and contributing a full season whenever hockey resumes.
In 74 games with the Rocket in 2018-19, the Saint-Eloi, Quebec, native was the team’s most consistent offensive threat, leading the club with 19 goals and 54 points.