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Canadiens sign forward Josh Anderson to seven-year deal at $5.5M per season

In this file photo, Josh Anderson (77), formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets carries the puck behind the net during the second period of an NHL hockey game in 2019. Anderson has signed a seven-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens. Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP Photo

The Montreal Canadiens have agreed to a seven-year contract extension with forward Josh Anderson.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin made the announcement on Thursday, with the contract having an average annual value of US$5.5 million and running until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Read more: Montreal Canadiens place Karl Alzner on waivers in order to buy out his contract

The 26-year-old Anderson was acquired Tuesday from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a trade for forward Max Domi and a 2020 third-round pick. Both players were upcoming restricted free agents, and Columbus inked Domi to a $10.6 million, two-year deal on Wednesday.

Anderson was coming off a difficult season in a contract year, and was placed on injured reserve after the second game of the 2019-20 campaign with a shoulder injury.

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He returned after missing six games, but underwent surgery on a torn labrum in March and was ruled out for the rest of the season. He had a goal and three assists in 26 games after setting career highs with 27 goals and 47 points the previous season.

Read more: Montreal Canadiens trade Max Domi for Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson

Montreal is hoping that the six-foot-three, 222-pound right-winger’s playing style that combines speed with grit addresses a need on a team that has long lacked toughness at forward.

Anderson said recently he’s fit and ready to return, and that he would have been cleared to return to action had Columbus got past Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs.

Anderson, from Burlington, Ont., has 65 goals and 50 assists in 267 career games with Columbus, which selected him 95th overall in the 2012 NHL draft.