The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenceman Logan Mailloux to a three-year, entry-level contract, the club announced on Wednesday.
The deal is worth US$750,000 in the first season and $832,500 in the next two campaigns.
The Canadiens were heavily criticized for drafting Mailloux with the 31st pick at the 2021 NHL draft.
He was fined by Swedish authorities after admitting to two charges related to sharing, without her consent, a photo of a woman performing a sexual act.
Mailloux, who was playing for the Swedish team SK Lejon at the time of the incident, has previously said he “deeply regrets” taking and then sharing that photo with his teammates “to impress them.”
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“This is a decision that we have thought through carefully,” Montreal general manager Kent Hughes, who was not with the organization when Mailloux was drafted, said in a statement Wednesday. “Having Logan around members of our team and hockey operations staff for a good part of the summer allowed us to gain a greater appreciation of Logan Mailloux the person.
“He has an opportunity to affect positive change and we will work to support him in any effort towards that goal. Logan recognizes the impact of his gesture and of course, the process continues.”
Sheldon Kennedy agrees. He is a sexual assault survivor and co-founder of Respect Group, which provides training to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.
Kennedy was invited to speak by the Montreal Canadiens with Mailloux and Habs prospects about consent over the summer.
He believes Mailloux is sincere in his remorse and desire of be part of the solution.
“It was authentic and he was compassionate,” Kennedy said. “When I spoke with Logan, it was real.”
Kennedy adds that the team’s decision to help Mailloux become a better person can turn out to be positive.
“I felt that Logan can be a champion to help others, other young men, and he can be a beacon if he stays the course,” Kennedy said.
Mailloux will earn $70,000 per season if he plays in the American Hockey League.
The 19-year-old native of Belle River, Ont., played 12 games with the London Knights last season, recording nine points (three goals, six assists) and serving 13 penalty minutes.
–With files from Global’s Dan Spector