New Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is off to a popular start with a local hospital foundation.
Drouin was named Tuesday as an ambassador of the Fondation du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and pledged $500,000 of his own money to the hospital over the next 10 years.
Drouin will also lend his star power to fundraising events during that period with an eye to raising $5 million for the CHUM.
"My intention is to help others to get involved and understand the role of the CHUM in society," the 22-year-old said at a news conference Tuesday.
"When you enter a hospital and see children attached to machines, you feel privileged to play hockey."
The forward from Sainte-Agathe, Que., was acquired by the Canadiens from the Tampa Bay Lightning in June in exchange for defenceman Mikhail Sergachev.
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His six-year contract is worth $33 million US.
Drouin's involvement with the CHUM is reminiscent of former Habs defenceman P.K. Subban's work for the Montreal Children's Hospital.
The popular defenceman pledged $10 million to the hospital over seven years from his foundation in September 2015.
Subban was traded the following June to the Nashville Predators in return for Shea Weber, but maintains his connection with the hospital and its young patients.