Alexei Emelin, Canadiens strike 4-year contract extension

The Montreal Canadiens have agreed to a four-year extension through the 2017-18 season with defenceman Alexei Emelin, who continues his recovery from April knee surgery.

Physical defenceman recovering from knee surgery

Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin, left, scored three goals and 12 points in 38 games last season while adding 110 hits, 47 blocked shots and a plus-2 rating. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Alexei Emelin soon will make his season debut on the Montreal Canadiens blue-line armed with a new contract.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday the NHL team had agreed to a four-year extension through the 2017-18 season with Emelin, who continues his recovery from April knee surgery. Multiple reports suggest the deal is worth $16.4 million US, but terms were not officially released.

“We are very happy to have secured a long-term agreement with Alexei,” Bergevin said in a statement released by the Canadiens. “He is an important part of our group of core players. He shows a very good work ethic and has a good attitude."

Emelin, 27, scored three goals and 12 points in 38 games last season. The six-foot-two, 224-pounder added 110 hits, 47 blocked shots and a plus-2 rating.

“I love Montreal and I am confident that I will soon return to the ice fully recovered from my injury and contribute to the success of our team,” he said.

Bergevin said “hard-hitting defencemen” like Emelin, who averaged 19 minutes 40 seconds of ice time a year ago, are hard to find.

The Togliatti, Russia native suffered a season-ending injury on April 6 against Boston.

In 105 NHL regular-season games, Emelin has 19 points on six goals and 13 assists.

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