MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Saturday the signing of forward Kyle Chipchura to a three-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Selected by the Canadiens in the first round, 18th overall, in 2004, Chipchura just completed his fourth season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League. In 59 games, the Vimy, Alberta native collected 21 goals and 34 assists for a team high 55 points, and 81 penalty minutes. Chipchura, the team captain, was the recipient of the Orland Kurtenbach Award, given to the Raiders Most Valuable Player during the season.
During his career with the Raiders, Chipchura, 20, played in 216 games, recording 59 goals and 106 assists for 165 points. He posted a plus-9 rating and totaled 320 penalty minutes. Chipchura played in the 2004 and 2005 playoffs, totaling six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 20 games.
The 6-foot-3, 208-pound center was named captain of Canada's National Junior Team in January 2006. In six games, Chipchura scored four goals, added one assist and posted a plus/minus rating of plus-5, leading Canada to their second World Junior Hockey title in as many years.
Chipchura, who will report to the Hamilton Bulldogs this week, played in three preseason games with the Canadiens in September 2005, collecting one assist.