The Montreal Canadiens on Thursday signed defenseman Alexei Emelin to a four-year contract extension.
Terms of the contract were not released, but multiple sources are reporting the contract to be worth $16.4 million. He is in the final season of a two-year contract and would have become an unrestricted free agent in July. Instead he'll be with the team through the 2017-18 season.
"I am very pleased to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the coming years," Emelin said. "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."
Emelin hasn't played this season while rehabilitating a knee injury sustained during a game April 6 against the Boston Bruins. He had three goals, nine assists and a plus-2 rating in 39 games last season.
"We are very happy to have secured a long-term agreement with Alexei," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said. "He is an important part of our group of core players. He shows a very good work ethic and has a good attitude. He can play big minutes against the opponents' best players, and hard-hitting defensemen of his type are hard to find. We are very confident that he will fully recover from his knee injury and be able to compete at a high level for many years to come."
In two NHL seasons, both with the Canadiens, he has six goals and 19 points in 105 games. The 27-year-old was a third-round pick (No. 84) in the 2004 NHL Draft.